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:cm Fiswsing 







Hazell, Watson, and Viney, Printers, London and Aylesbury 


In placing the present revised edition of " The Modern 
Angler " before the angling public, I must thank my 
friends for their kind appreciation of my efforts, not 
only to instruct the tyro, but also, if possible, to give 
a few practical hints to the veteran in the Art. 

I have endeavoured to make my instructions as lucid 
as possible, and to explain clearly the various modern 
styles of Angling, giving, where necessary, diagrams 
of the tackle used, so that the learner may readily 
comprehend the modus operandi ; and that he may 
speedily become a proficient in the Art is the earnest 
wish of 

" OTTER." 





Angling Requisites 1 

The Salmon 12 

The Trout 16 

The Pike , 31 




The Graylixg 52 

The Perch and Pope 54 


The Barbel and Bream: 59 


The Carp and Tench - . . .68 

The Chub 71 

The Boach, Btjdd, and Dace 75 




The Eel, Lamprey, and Lampern . . . .85 


The Gtudgeon, Bleak, Etc S3 


The Thames 91 


Tributaries op the Thames — The Lea . . 110 


Tributaries op the Thames (continued) . . 115 





. 120 


Lakes, Ponds, Etc. 







Chapter I. 


HE art of Angling is undoubtedly one of the most 
ancient of sports, and it may, I think, be taken 
for granted, that amongst the earliest pursuits of 
man may be placed the capture of the finny tribe 
for food. That the ancients had a good knowledge 
of the use of hooks may be at once seen by the 
passages in Job, Habakkuk, and Isaiah; and coming 
down to later times there is a most interesting passage in 
the Kev. C. D. Badham's "Prose Halieutics," translated 
from ZElian, referring to the practice of fly-fishing more than 
two thousand years ago by the Macedonians in the river 
Astreus, flowing between Berea and Thessalonica. They 
caught a species of Trout with a fly called hippurus ; but 
this being of too delicate a nature to be impaled alive on a 
hook, the Angler used an imitation, by forming the body of 
purple wool, and adjusting a pair of wings of a waxy colour. 
The ancient Greeks and Romans appear to have been 
somewhat enthusiastic fishermen, Homer, Oppian, and many 


2 RODS. 

others making numerous references to the art in their writ- 
ings, — Oppian in writing on sea-fishing describing a style of 
fishing remarkably similar to the present method of trolling 
with a leaded gorge-hook. The Egyptians also were skilled 
in the art, and the angling matches of Anthony and Cleopatra 
are almost proverbial. However much the ancients enjoyed 
Angling as a "sport," as an "art," the moderns are far 
ahead. The tackle of those days, though good enough for 
the uneducated fish of the period, would not do for the 
highly-educated fish of the present day, whose shyness 
increases with the number of Anglers ; the more they are 
fished for, the more wary they become, and the more skill is 
required on the part of the Angler. " Show me your tackle, 
and I will tell you your sport," is a sentence in which is 
some amount of truth ; but at the same time, the very best 
tackle is useless without skill and knowledge, or in other 
words, without "brains." 

To place the Angler in a position to be ready at any 
moment to angle in any river of the kingdom for any descrip- 
tion of fish that may happen to be in season, a considerable 
variety of articles would be required. But whilst one Angler 
would not think for a moment of fishing for anything but 
Salmon, Trout, or Grayling, dozens more are perfectly content 
to basket a few score of Roach or Dace. 

When collecting the various necessaries take my advice 
as a practical Angler : do not be deluded into purchasing 
" cheap " tackle ; it is invariably the dearest. Buy good 
articles, and pay a fair price ; as for the others, as Ephemera 
remarks in his "Handbook," "they must be defective in 
every way, and hence the purchaser meets with little success, 
much loss of time and money, for ' cheap ' things are 
always the most expensive in the end." 

Rods may be divided into three classes, — for fly, trolling, 
and bottom fishing. For Salmon, the fly rod is best in four 
pieces, the butt of ash, the two next joints of hickory, and 
the top of lancewood. Some prefer greenhart, but it is a 
very treacherous wood, breaking in most unexpected places. 
It is best to have an extra long top in case of fracture, and a 
short top, half the length of the others, for fishing with a 


worm or minnow. The length varies from sixteen to twenty 
feet, according to the size of the river. In the Thames, a 
fifteen or sixteen feet rod is a most useful length both for 
Trout and Chub, the former being taken with a small Salmon 
fly, and Chub requiring a palmer or other fly of quite as 
much weight as a Salmon fly, which would strain a light rod 
too much. For ordinary Trout-fishing a rod of from ten to 
twelve feet is sufficiently long — of hickory, the same as the 
Salmon rod, but with the top of spliced cane. Always have 
the rings large enough ; small rings are a great mistake. 

Trolling Eods are of the before-mentioned materials, and 
also of mottled East India Cane. I prefer the latter ; they 
are much lighter and handsomer, and with ordinary care 
will last for many years. I am using one now which I 
had in 1851, and which is as good as ever, only requiring 
occasional attention in the shape of cleaning and varnishing. 
From twelve to fourteen feet is sufficiently long, in four 
pieces, and with two extra tops varying in length. The end 
rings to the tops should be of steel, as well as the large ring 
on the butt, as these receive the greater part of the friction 
from the line, which would soon cut into them if of any 
softer metal ; and these cuts would, in return, very quickly 
fray the line. The remainder of the rings should be fixed 
upright, but need not be of steel ; hardened brass is very good, 
but steel electro-plated is best. The shoulders and tongues 
should be brazed, so that they may not swell when wetted, 
or there will be difficulty in taking the rod to pieces after use. 

Eods for bottom fishing are somewhat varied in character. 
In the Lea, the Roach rod is from sixteen to twenty feet in 
length, of the lightest cane, stiff and sharp in the strike, 
fitted together with shoulders only, and having no rings 
whatever. The Thames Roach rods for use in a punt are 
from ten to eleven feet in length, in four joints, with rings ; 
of light cane for Roach and Dace ; of hickory or mottled 
cane for Perch, Barbel, etc. 

There are three sorts of Winches : — Plain, these are in 
brass and wood ; Plain, with a click (these are termed 
check winches) ; and Multiplyers, that is, one turn of the 
handle turns the inner barrel containing the line three 


times. These are useful when quickness in winding up the 
line is desirable, but very objectionable when this has a 
fish or other weight at the end, as the wheels then will often 
lock together so tightly that you will hardly be able to turn 
the handle. The plain winches are good when cheapness is 
an object; but for use the check winches made of bronze are 
decidedly the best. The pin of the handle should be fixed 
into one plate of the winch, turning with it, instead of being 
on a separate arm in the ordinary manner. The advantage 
will scon be discovered on a windy day, as the line will not 
ca,tch round the handle when blown about by the wind. 
The wood winches are very useful in certain styles of 
Angling, but require great care, as they run extremely easy, 
and if the bait is thrown with the least jerk, when it has 
dropped in the water, and the line ceased running, the 
winch will continue running on, and will wind the line the 
wrong way. Some of the wood winches have a click which 
can be thrown out of action by moving a pin ; these are a 
great improvement on the old pattern. 

Eunning lines are made from a variety of materials. The 
best for fly-fishing are made from silk and hair, either spun 
or plaited, the latter throwing very much straighter : they 
should be made tapering to a point. For Salmon, they may 
be either silk and hair, or prepared plaited silk. For spin- 
ning, or for any other description of running line, I prefer 
the prepared plaited silk, of a size in proportion to the 
style of fishing adopted. There are various other makes of 
lines : such as tanned plaited hemp, plaited silk, spun silk, 
etc., but the above are the best. 

A Fly Book is an indispensable requisite to hold the flies, 
casting lines, etc. : Russia leather is the best material, as it 
preserves the flies from moth. 

A Tackle Case is necessary to contain spare hooks, lines, 
etc., with a reel to hold the lines fitted for use with floats. 
This reel should have, in the centre, a box with divisions to 
hold caps, shots, and plummets, and should carry four lines, — 
two for Roach, and two for Perch, or larger fish. 

A landing-net, or gaff-hook, is also needful. I prefer the 
former for Trout and small fish, reserving the gaff for Pike 

N? 6 


(Page ?C) 



or other large fish. The landing-ring should be made to 
fold up. There are two sorts — the ordinary folding ring, and 
the improved spring ring — which, when not in use, may be 
tied in the bag with the rod. The improved telescope 
handle is in two joints, and may either be used the full 
length, or, by pushing in the small joint and turning the 
screw, can be used half-length. This is extremely useful for 
Trout-fishing, especially when wading ; it is also furnished 
with a small hook, so as to hang to the button-hole. The 
net is either of twine or silk ; the latter lasts the longest. 

The Angler should have, in addition, a large fish-bag, or 
haversack, having a division, so as to form two pockets — the 
outer one for fish, and the inner one for tackle. It will be 
found considerably more convenient than the pannier, which 
always appears to be in the way ; while the haversack, fitting 
close to the side, will hold more, and when not in use, can 
be rolled up and carried in the pocket. 

The Bottom-lines should be of the very best silkworm gut, 
stained a light water blue, stout in proportion to the parti- 
cular style of fishing preferred ; but always use the finest 
gut possible for Roach. Some prefer horsehair, but the 
extra-fine gut is much stronger, as well as finer. 

Floats are of various materials : taper-quill, reed, cork 
on a porcupine quill, etc. The first is the best for Roach, 
unless the stream is very strong ; and the cork is the best 
for Perch and Barbel. 

A disgorger is a very useful article in the tackle case for 
taking the hook out of the mouth of the fish. It is a long 
narrow piece of ivory, bone, or metal, having a forked end, 
which is pushed against the hook, and is very handy for 
disengaging it. 

A clearing-ring and drag, will sometimes be required 
when the hook has fouled weeds or other obstructions at 
the bottom of the river. 

In the annexed sketch will be found some of the most use- 
ful knots and fastenings for lines and hooks : — 

No. 1 is the "Bowline knot," which is a most convenient 
one to tie when a slip-knot is wanted. 

No. 2 is for joining lines by means of loops. 


No. 3 is for fastening the running line to the trace. When 
drawn tight this is a very secure knot, which can be instantly- 
undone by pulling the knotted point of the line. 

No. 4 is for joining a broken line. 

No. 5 is another method of joining a broken line by means 
of two slipknots. When these are pulled tight and drawn 
together, it forms a very safe joining, and is much used in 
fly-oasts, the drop-fly being attached as in the sketch ; when 
it is required to change this, it is easily accomplished by 
drawing the knots apart. 

No. 6 is another method of attaching a drop-fly. 

No. 7 is for attaching the hooks to Paternosters. 

Always soak the gut well in water to soften it before 
attempting to knot it, otherwise it is certain to crack and 

Last, but not least, arises the question of hooks. Now 
there is, in the first place, no economy so expensive in the 
end, or so delusive, as that of investing in cheap hooks. 
There is, in Angling, no branch of more direct importance 
than this particular one. If you cannot have confidence in 
your hook, of what avail is the most perfect skill and mani- 
pulation, or the most artistically finished rod or winch ? And 
yet it is astonishing what an amount of trash is annually 
palmed upon the novice in the shape of hooks. Of course, if 
he will have them cheap, the unscrupulous dealer will supply 
him at almost any price he may choose to name, because he 
pays his hook-maker in proportion. I have been shown 
these hooks, which appear very well finished to the eye, but 
try them, dear novice, and what is the result ? They double 
up like lead wire, or break like tinder. Probably very few, 
if any, of my readers have ever been privileged to inspect a 
hook-factory. Each department undertakes its own special 
work, which is kept quite distinct and separate. 

In the first department the wire is simply straightened, 
and cut into the required lengths. In the next, they receive 
the barbs, which are simply cut with a sharp knife. If the 
barb is cut too deep, it is apt to break off when the point 
comes in contact with a bone ; and if it is not cut deep 
enough, it will probably cause the loss of a fish through not 


being "rank" enough to retain its hold. After the wires 
are barbed, they are filed at the points and sharpened; in 
the case of best hooks they are also filed taper at the other 
or shank end, so that they may have a neater appearance 
when whipped to the gilt or gimp. In the next department 
they receive their shape, and make their first appearance as 
hooks. As there is a "pattern" to be formed for every 
shape upon which the wire is bent, my readers can imagine 
there is some slight amount of brain-work required even in 
making such a common thing as a fish-hook. After the hooks 
are shaped, they are hardened by being first heated in trays 
in a furnace till "white hot," and then slid into a bath of 
oil to cool. They are now perfectly brittle, and after being 
cleaned from the oil, are ready to be passed to the 
" temperer," The tempering* is performed in a fine sand 
bath over a branch of the furnace ; and the instant that this 
important functionary considers they have arrived at the 
proper stage, they are shot into a sieve to separate them 
from the sand, and are turned out on a table to cool. After 
being tempered, the small sizes are shaken in bags with oil 
and emery for about an hour to clean ; after this they are 
washed in soapsuds, dried in sawdust, then shaken in 
another clean bag of sawdust till perfectly bright. The 
blueing is performed in a sand-bath the same as the tempering, 
and they are turned out as before to cool. The large hooks 
are cleaned in barrels of water only, which are turned 
rapidly by machinery, the friction of the hooks against each 
other scouring them clean ; and the polish is produced in a 
similar manner — in dry barrels with sawdust. In the case of 
" Limerick " and other hooks, which are usually japanned, 
this is done after the tempering process. A large quantity 
are warmed gently in a metal basin, and a small quantity of 
black japan being poured on them, they are quickly mani- 
pulated with a pair of forks, which prevents the japan 
becoming clotty. 

It is evident that, given good steel wire, everything depends 
upon the temperer. If the hook is not sufficiently tempered 
off goes the point directly a bone is struck ; it may be only 
the point, though a break generally occurs where the barb, 



is cut in ; but if a fish is missed, the Angler should at once 
examine the hook, as if the fine point is gone, only a rough 
blunt point is left, with which he must be extremely lucky 
if he catches anything at all. A touch or two with a small 
needle-file will very often repair this damage. But then, 
again, a hook may be over-tempered ; that is, too much of 
the hardening is taken out, and then the hook becomes a 
perfect nuisance. The wire may be good, but all the spring 
is gone ; and the first time you strike a fish yeur hook goes 
out straight, and away goes your fish. 

Now with regard to the shape which is most useful for 
each description of Angling. The principal patterns are as 
under, all other shapes being a modification of one or other 
of these. 

No. l. 

No. 2. 

No. 3. 

No. 4. No. 5. No. 6. 

Of these, No. 1 (Limerick), No. 4 (Lip), No. 5 (Carlisle), 
are flat; No. 2 (Kirby), No. 3 (Sneck), No. 6 (Kendal), are 
twisted slightly sideways. This twist should be very slight ; 
for as the point is turned away from the direction from 
which the force is applied, by so much is the penetrating 
power diminished ; but on the other hand, if it has no twist 
at all, but is perfectly flat, a fish may possibly take it in his 
mouth, and the hook may be pulled out in striking without 
so much as pricking him. Try this with a flat and a slightly 
twisted hook between two pieces of card ; you will easily 
draw out the one, but not the other. So much for the hook- 
ing properties, speaking generally. Next, as regards shape. 
For Salmon flies I think there is no better hook than a 
Limerick, of the shape as drawn, and here it may be noted 
as self-evident, that the more the point of the hook is directed 


towards the point of the shank, by so much the more is the 
penetrating power increased. 

For Trout flies, if of large size, the Limerick is good, 
but for medium, or small flies, the Sneck is to be preferred, 
and with this you will seldom miss a fish. The point should 
be very fine and sharp, but not too long, and the barb should 
not be too rank, or it will require too hard a strike to drive 
it home ; the length of the shank being in proportion to the 
fly. For very small midges a very round Carlisle hook is 
much used. 

The shapes mostly used in Pike-fishing are the Round, the 
Sneck, and the Lip. 

The Lip-hook, as its name denotes, is principally used, in 
spinning-tackle, to close the mouth of the bait, which is 
effectually accomplished by the sharp angle. This is a very 
useful shape in sundry other portions of Jack-tackle for 
attaching the bait in various ways ; but the point is too rank 
for hooking a fish ; and as from their position they are more 
visible on the flight, so should they be rather small than 
large. The hooks intended for catching should be either 
Sneck or Round, whether as single hooks, or brazed together 
in the form of triangles. 

For general all-round work in bottom-angling there is hardly 
a better shape than the short-shanked Kendal. This has a 
slight twist to one side, but is infinitely to be preferred to 
the Sneck as a worm-hook. Any hook with a sharp angle 
is to be avoided for worm-fishing if the worm has to be 
threadled up the hook ; for in passing it round the corner or 
angle the worm is almost certain to be damaged, or if not, 
it has a very unnatural appearance ; whilst, with a round- 
bend, the worm is quickly and neatly slipped up the hook, 
and presents a better appearance in the water. 

For Roach-fishing there are several shapes in use. The 
short-shanked Sneck has many admirers, and is principally 
used for gentles and paste ; but I prefer a round-bend of my 
own pattern, having the point slightly pointing in, rather fine 
in the wire, yet strong enough for a heavy fish, and I rarely 
miss a fish with it. The shanks of the greater number of 
Roach-hooks are much too short to strike in properly. With 




these, on striking, the whole strain is thrown on the inside 
of the point, instead of on the point itself; and instead of 
forcing the point in, it pulls the hook open, if it is of fine 
•wire. This will be at once seen if the point of an ordinary 
short-shanked Roach-hook is fixed in the edge of a strong 
card ; observe the position taken by the hook on pulling the 
gut. If the wire of the hook is so coarse that it will not 
spring, notice what a much harder stroke is required to attain 
the desired result of burying the barb. No. 1 is a skort- 
sneck ; No. 2 a short-round. Both these shapes are greatly 
in demand ; short in the shank, so as not to require too much 
covering ; but in consequence of the peculiar position they 
must assume when the sharp, peculiar stroke is given, they 
can neither of them be considered as 
good. In No 3, the shank is a little 
longer, and the point is rounded in, 
and pointing towards the direction 
from whence the stroke is given. I 
think it will at once be conceded that 
this must be the best shape for all 
practical purposes, either for paste, 
gentles, or worms ; for the latter, 
however, I like a longer shank, as it 
can be baited easier, and keeps the 
worm better in shape. There is 
another objection to these extra short shanks which I think 
has hardly been sufficiently noticed, and it is this : the fine 
gut or hair to which the hook is attached must be weakened 
very considerably at the point of the hook-shank by the 
constant cross-way jerk, which will damage it in .a very much 
shorter space of time than by a straighter pull, besides 
loosening the whipping. 

The best Gentles are those obtained from bullock's liver ; 
cut several gashes in it, and then hang up till well fly-blown, 
placing under it a tub containing damp sand to catch the 
gentles as they fall. 

The "Worms used in Angling are of several kinds ; the 
largest, Lobworms, are found in gardens ; on a damp even- 
ing in the summer they may be gathered in great numbers. 



Marshworms are very common ; they are next in size to the 
lob. Brandlings are known by the yellow rings round the 
body, and are found in dunghills. Red-worms are of a fine 
bright red colour when well scoured. Blood-worms are about 
an inch long, of a bright blood-colour, and are found in ponds 
frequented by cows. The best method of cleaning or scouring 
worms for use, is to place them on damp moss ; to preserve 
them for a length of time, dip some old clean coarse cloths 
or sacking into fatty liquor, not salt, and mix them with 
some mould in a large tub. Place the worms on the top ; 
they will soon crawl through to the bottom, feeding and 
cleansing themselves ; if kept in a cool dark place they will 
keep lively for months, looking over them occasionally, to 
remove the dead or sickly worms. 

Some Anglers while fishing with the rod and line lay in 
a Bank Runner ; the point of this is stuck firmly in the 
ground ; the reel on the top contains about twenty yards of 
water cord, at the end of which is fixed a hook swivel, and 
about two feet up the line is fastened a small bullet ; it is 
used with a live bait and float or bung for Jack ; or without 
the float for Eels, baiting with a lob and letting the bullet 
rest at the bottom of the water. 

Trimmers are also sometimes used in Ponds for taking 
large Jack. These are set afloat with a live bait in the 
most likely place, and are so constructed that when a Pike 
seizes the bait, the Trimmer turns over and displays a 
different colour, being painted red on one side and white 
on the other. Ducks and Geese are sometimes used instead 
of Trimmers ; the line is tied round the body and a strong 
hook and large bait is used. All these ways, however, are 
unworthy of the true Angler, who exercises his skill for 
amusement, and should .only use the rod and line. 


Chapter II. 


HE fish that stands highest in the estimation of 
the true Angler is the Salmon. His rapid yet 
graceful motions, muscular powers, and beautiful 
proportions, as much as the superior delicacy of 
his flavour as an edible, proclaim him the noblest 
of the denizens of the river ; and his title to 
precedence has never yet been questioned. His 
natural history has been already so well described 
in Ephemera's " Book of the Salmon," that for full particulars 
of this interesting subject I cannot do better than refer my 
readers to that work, as well as the occasional notices in the 
columns of the Field. Salmon spawn between September 
and February, on shallows and fords ; the combined influence 
of running water and of solar and atmospheric action being 
necessary to vivify the ova impregnated by the milt. The 
actual operation occupies from two to ten days, according to 
the size of the fish ; and the actual date of deposit varies in 
different rivers. The spawning completed, the parent fish 
drop down to the nearest deep pool till they recover suffi- 
ciently to commence their voyage to the sea, returning to 
their native river in from two to three months; some entering 
the rivers on their return, as early as February. 

The principal method of Angling for Salmon is with the 
Artificial Fly. One of our friends has had sixteen days' 
capital sport in the Shannon (May 1876) : twenty-two 
Salmon, average 16 lbs., largest 30 lbs.; five Grilse, 
average 6 lbs. ; besides a quantity of Trout, largest 8f lbs. 
The fly-rod for Salmon should be from sixteen to eighteen 
feet in length, or even more, according to the size of the 
river you intend to fish ; and should be furnished with two 


long tops and one short one, the latter to use when minnow 
fishing, and the spare fly-top in case of a fracture. 

The Line should be from sixty to a hundred yards long, 
on a free-running check-winch ; the handle of which should 
be made on the improved principle of turning with the plate, 
so as not to catch the line ; some first-rate fishermen prefer 
the line of prepared plaited silk, not tapered, whilst others 
never use anything but silk and hair, tapering towards the 
end, either plaited or spun ; the former throws straighter. 

The Casting-lines are of plaited gut, twisted gut, and extra 
stout single gut ; usually three yards long. 

The flies vary exceedingly ; in Ireland it is the practice to 
use them large and gaudy ; whilst in Scotland dull flies with, 
in general, a speckled wing, and claret or orange body ribbed 
with gold twist, are more killing ; in English rivers rather a 
smaller fly is used than in Scotland, but in a greater variety 
of colours. The size and colour of Salmon Flies, however, 
must always vary considerably according to the depth and 
colour of the water, the state of the weather, and season of 
the year. There are scarcely any rules of a universal cha- 
racter to be laid down ; experience must be the sole guide 
in the matter. If a description were to be given of all the 
killing flies, their name would be legion, and would require 
a greater amount of space than our present limits will permit. 

In Francis' " Book on Angling " will be found a lengthy 
descriptive list of the Salmon Flies peculiar to the several 

There are three parts principally to be learnt in fly-fishing 
for Salmon : 1st, to throw the fly properly ; 2nd, to work 
it when in the water ; and finally, to hook and play the 
Salmon till it is within reach of the gaff. The best Salmon 
fisher is not he who throws the longest line, but the one 
who throws it adroitly to a moderate distance and makes the 
best of his fly when in the water. 

The following is the most natural manner of throwing the 
Salmon Fly; the right hand grasps the rod above the winch, 
the left being below it, and the right foot advanced. Bring 
your rod and line freely in an easy semicircular sweep over 
the right shoulder, until the right arm is extended in a 


vertical direction over the right side of the head ; then 
giving a strong action to the right arm y send the rod and 
line strongly forward ; and when this combined action is 
performed without nervousness, but dashingly and in an 
energetic manner, the fly will be forced forward to its 
destination. Begin with about twenty yards, and when 
you can throw that well, increase the distance by degrees. 
This cast is intended for fishing down the left side of the 
river, with the right side of the Angler nearest the water. 
For fishing down the right side of the river, reverse the 
above directions ; grasp the rod with the left hand above 
the winch, the right hand below, and the left foot to the 
front ; with the left side next the water. Making use 
chiefly of the left arm, you sweep the rod over the left 
shoulder till you feel the line extended in the air behind, 
and then propel it forward, as if you were going to strike 
with the rod, at something hovering over the river, in the 
direction you wish to send the fly. Checking the forward 
motion of the rod, the line will be sent straight out, the fly 
and gut-line dropping first on the water. Do not bend over 
too much with the descending rod, as it brings the point 
of it too close on the water, deadening its elastic and 
propelling action, and causing the line to fall in a slovenly 
manner on the stream. 

The Salmon Fly, unlike those used for Trout, is never 
worked with or down the stream, but against it ; it then 
seems like some splendid large insect, swimming up stream 
beneath the surface, by fits and starts ; whereas if worked 
down stream it would roll over in an unnatural manner, on 
account of the heaviness of its wings. Cast it as straight 
down the river as possible ; if from the bank, slantingly 
down and across, bringing it round without delay into the 
line of the current. Work it towards you by raising and 
lowering the point of the rod ; when the rod is raised, so 
also will be the fly, and the water will then press down its 
wings ; on lowering the top the fly goes downwards, and 
the water, opening the fibres of the wings and hackles, 
displays all its beauty. Do not perform these motions 
too rapidly, or you do not permit the full development of 

SALMON. 1 5 

the colours of the fly ; should you observe a Salmon 
following it, lower the point so as to cause the fly to move 
gently towards him, and in nine cases out of ten he will 
take it eagerly. 

Salmon will rarely be seen resting where the bottom is 
smooth, but incline more towards rocks and large stones. 
Should a rapid current run between them, work the fly on 
each side of it, between the still water and the rapid. In 
a rocky pool they will lie in almost any part, but especially 
in the point of meeting of two currents formed by rocks 
standing apart but opposite each other. Throw the fly 
below and work it up the middle between them ; afterwards 
on the inner side of each. 

Never strike too sharply at Salmon ; it is best to strike 
gently a little sideways. This is quite sufficient, and he 
will hook himself fast enough on turning to move off. 
Use him gently, and coax him, as it were, from the shelter 
of his rocky stronghold into open water, where he can have 
a clear field and no favour. Put the strain on him when- 
ever you can, and select the clearest spot on the bank for 
landing him ; if he is a large fish in full vigour, he may 
perhaps tow you a mile up or down the water before you 
are able to exhaust him sufficiently to bring him to the gaff. 
The best place to insert this is beneath the gills ; the next 
best is behind one of the pectoral fins. 

Salmon are also taken with the Spinning-bait ; a descrip- 
tion of the method of using which will be given in the next 
chapter. Also with prawns, lobworms, etc. When the 
worm is used, two or three large lobs should be threaded 
on the hook so as to leave the tails hanging down, and a 
lead equal to the strength of the stream should be on the 
trace. The prawn is threaded on the hook in a similar 
manner, and worked by sinking and drawing. 


Chapter III. 

TE U T . 

HE Trout is next in importance to the Salmon in 
the piscatory world. In the rivers of the midland 
counties, the average' weight of the Trout is from 
one to two pounds, more being taken under than 
over that weight ; the colour, shape, and quality 
of the fish varying according to the water it 
inhabits. An intelligent and sagacious individual, 
he carefully avoids thick or dirty waters, and revels in the 
clear mountain stream, calling forth the utmost effort of the 
ingenuity and skill of the Angler ere he becomes his captive. 
When in full season, observe his fascinating and prepossess- 
ing figure, sparkling in all the gorgeous colours of the rain- 
bow, and shaped in strict accordance with the most refined 
rules of symmetrical proportion. Look at the reverse of the 
picture, and see him out of condition, and the contrast is 
wonderful. A thin, black, wretched-looking creature, with 
a head apparently too large for his body, — who that has not 
seen him in both conditions would believe that this was the 
nice and fastidious exquisite who charmed our senses with 
his every movement ? 

Allusion has been made as yet only to the ordinary river 
Trout ; but there are other varieties, such as the sea-trout, 
bull-trout, lake-trout, and the large Thames-trout. This 
latter grows to an extremely large size ; and although an 
occasional one or two may be taken with a fly, yet the 
great majority are taken with the spinning-bait. One was 
taken inMarlow Weirpool, May 11th, 1863, weighing 151bs., 
which was preserved, and may be seen at " The Anglers," 
Marlow Bridge ; and I believe there are others in the neigh- 
bourhood of even larger size. A large one, which weighed 
























TROUT. 17 

over 141bs., was taken at Teddington Weir, in 1869. In 
April 1880 an extremely fine specimen, weighing 16 lbs. 
15 oz., was taken with the spinning bait at Eeading. In De- 
cember 1877, a Trout weighing 12 lbs. 15 oz. was washed 
up on an eel-stage at the Town Mill, on the river Avon, at 
Salisbury. A fine specimen of the sahno ferox, weighing 39| 
lbs., was taken in the River Awe with a Salmon fly, in 1866. 

In the Field of 19th Jan., 1878, we read that a fisher- 
man captured on the 23rd Dec, 1877, in St. Wolfgangsee, in 
the Salzkammergut (Austria), a Lake Trout weighing 33 kilos, 
or close upon 73 lbs. The fish, which was taken in a net, 
measured 4 feet in length by 20 inches in thickness — -almost 
rivalling in proportions the giant Trout caught in the same 
lake in 1862, which weighed, it is said, 77 English pounds. 

I am informed by J. Knechtli, Esq., that one of his friends 
caught in Lake Constance, 9th June, 1880, a Salmo Tnitta 
weighing 44| kilos =98 lbs. 

Trout spawn about October or November ; the season in 
the Thames commences on the 1st of April, and in most 
other rivers not till the 1st of May. They are influenced 
very much in their recovery from spawning, by the state of 
the weather ; as an instance, a few seasons since I caught 
one (in the Thames) weighing nearly 13 lbs., early in April ; 
in the following year, but one day later in the month, I took 
one weighing 7f lbs., — and the difference in appearance was 
extraordinary. The first year, the weather had been very 
warm, and the fish in April were in first-rate condition ; the 
second year had been altogether as cold, and the fish were 
proportionately thin and black. 

All Trout have their haunt or place of retreat, — generally 
some large stone, or root of a tree ; each fish appearing to 
have its regular portion of water, and seldom trespassing on 
that belonging to its neighbour. If one of these sections of 
the stream becomes vacant, a new occupant soon takes pos- 
session, and it is simply by being aware of the position of 
these haunts that an Angler knowing a river possesses such 
a decided advantage over one who does not, however skilful 
he may be in other respects. In the spring, Trout are found 
in rough streams and shallows ; seeking deeper water in the 


18 TROUT. 

summer. They also delight in whirlpools and holes beneath 
a rapid fall ; under bridges, rocks, and below weirs. Those 
that frequent overhanging banks and bushes, or lie hidden 
under cover of trees during sunshine, are much darker and 
yellower than those that love the unshaded stream with a 
clear sandy bottom ; these are altogether as silvery and 
bright, though belonging to the same family. 

Trout are taken with the fly, by spinning a minnow or 
other small fish, and with the worm, gentle, etc. 

The most useful length for a Trout fly-rod is between 
eleven and twelve feet, in four pieces, and with an extra top. 
A single-handed Trout rod should balance about a foot up 
the butt, by having the winch or reel close to the socket ; 
the leverage being greater, a better balance is obtained. 
Do not have a rod too whippy ; for a novice it is better 
rather stiff than otherwise. The fly-line should be thirty 
yards in length (in some rivers you may require more), on a 
light multiplying or bronze winch. The material of the winch- 
line may be either prepared plaited silk, or silk and hair, spun 
or plaited, and tapering towards the point to which is attached 
the casting-line ; this is of silk- worm gut, three yards in 
length, and fine in proportion to the river you intend fishing. 

With regard to Flies, there are about as many different 
patterns as there are days in the year. In the spring I 
should use the Light and Dark Dun, Olive Dun, Hare's Ear, 
Partridge Hackle, Eed Spinner, Hofland, Wellington, March 
Brown, Soldier Palmer, Coch-y-bonddhu, Emperor, and Stone 
Fly. Summer : Oak, Cowdung, Sand, Grannam, Alder, the 
various Palmers, Whirling Dun, Wickham Fancy, Artful 
Dodger, Carshalton Cocktail, Wrentail, Grouse, Yellow Sally, 
Coachman, the Green and Grey Drakes. Autumn: Ant, 
Pale Dun, August Dun, Cinnamon, Governor, and the 
Palmers. Be guided in the size of fly, of course, by the 
river you are visiting ; in the Thames, for example, you will 
require a very large size for Trout ; whilst in the Wandle 
none but the very smallest cocktails will tempt the appetite 
of the spotted beauties of this stream, upon which the May 
fly is never seen, and who will rarely be induced to rise at 
a Palmer, but will rush at a minute Quill Gnat or Yellow Dun. 

TROUT. 19 

One indispensable qualification of a fly-fisher is, to be 
able to throw a fly well to any spot he may wish. This is 
an art that can only be learnt by practice ; in fact, whilst 
you are learning and the fish are in season, there should be 
nulla dies sine lined. Remember, in fly-fishing, as in spin- 
ning, one or two practical lessons at the waterside are worth 
all the teaching that can be written. Put together the rod, 
so that all the rings are standing in a straight line ; on the 
reverse sides of the different ferrules are fixed what are 
termed " hitchers ; " these are for the purpose of tying 
together the joints, to prevent them becoming loose in 
throwing ; fix the winch to the butt, and draw the line 
through all the rings till you have four or five yards hanging 
uncoiled from the end ring of the top. Hold the rod in the 
right hand, a little above the winch, the thumb pointing 
straight along the rod on the upper side of the butt, which 
must be encircled by the remaining fingers. Now hold the 
rod almost perpendicular, but pointing somewhat to the left, 
with the tip of the line between the thumb and forefinger of 
the left hand. Use no flies or gut casting-line till you can 
throw the plain running-line with a tolerable degree of 
certainty. Poising the rod freely and easily, move your 
right wrist and forearm round to the right ; let go the- tip 
of the line, held in the left hand, when it begins to feel taut, 
at the same time describing a sort of oval in the air with the 
point of the rod, by bringing it from left to right over the 
right shoulder, and casting forward by a motion of the wrist 
and forearm. When you have propelled the line forward, 
the action of casting should be gradually checked directly 
the line is straightening out to the front. If held properly, 
that portion of the butt between your hand and the spike 
will touch the under part of the forearm at the same time 
that the line is coming in contact with the water ; this will 
prevent the point of the rod falling too low, and thus causing 
too much line to fall on the surface. By slightly raising the 
point of the rod just as the flies are about alighting on the 
water, their downward motion is checked, and they drop 
much more softly. Begin with about five yards of slack 
line, increasing a yard or two at a time, till you can manage 

20 TROUT. 

ten with tolerable ease, when you may add the casting-line. 
Practise till you can ensure the gut falling on the surface of 
the stream ere any of the reel line touches it. There are 
various other methods of throwing the fly, but when you 
have become thoroughly perfect in this, which I consider 
the easiest style, then you can soon vary the different move- 
ments, according as circumstances may arise ; such as a 
variation in the direction of the wind, or obstructions on the 
bank, or in the river. 

Commence with one fly at the end of the gut-line ; this 
is termed the " stretcher." When you can work this in a 
satisfactory manner, add a second, called a " dropper," 
fastened about two feet up the line at one of the joinings ; 
and afterwards another " dropper," about two feet higher 
again. The joinings of the gut-cast being formed of two 
slipknots, the end of the gut to which the dropper is tied 
is knotted and pushed through ; the slipknots being drawn 
tight, all is secure. 

Anglers are divided in opinion at which end of the stream 
you should commence. The best way, to my idea, is to fish 
up-stream ; then if you hook a heavy fish, ten to one that 
he bolts down-stream, disturbing only water that you have 
already fished. Keep as far from the edge of the water 
as convenient ; delivering your cast so that the flies fall 
first upon the water, and as little as possible of the line 
with them ; this being the most taking moment of the whole 
cast, and about the only one in which Trout can mistake the 
artificial for the live fly ; float your flies down, working 
them round towards the bank. Repeat your cast a step 
higher up, and so on ; strike gently from the wrist the 
moment you see or feel a "rise," with a very quick, yet 
gentle motion, by which the hand is displaced about two 
inches only. This, when done at the moment the fish has 
closed his mouth on the fly, is certain to secure a hold for 
the hook in some portion of the mouth. There may be only 
a stoppage of the line, but by the instantaneous movement 
of the Angler's wrist, the Trout is fast. Having hooked 
your fish, he probably endeavours at first to shake out the 
hook by splashing on the surface ; pointing your rod slightly 

TROUT. 21 

to him will cause him to quit it. The moment he sinks, 
keep him well in hand, according to his size, raising the 
point of the rod well up ; as he rushes away, hold him 
gently, and when possible show him the butt, by inclining 
the rod backwards over the shoulder. Do not strain on him 
too much, but after checking him a few times, and you find 
his struggles become" weaker, wind up ; and guiding him to 
the easiest landing-place, bring him within reach of the 
landing-net. Be careful not to use this roughly, so as to 
frighten the Trout at the last moment, when you might 
possibly be unprepared for a violent plunge ; but sink the 
net, and bringing him quietly over it, lift it up without jerk- 
ing and secure your prize. 

The Creeper or Caddis is a deadly bait for Trout early in 
May : it is an aquatic insect found plentifully on the bottom of 
most rivers, enclosed in a curious shell of small twigs, gravel, 
etc., cemented together. The insect itself is about an inch or 
rather more in length, with several legs. Select a Creeper of 
a yellowish colour, use a single hook, size about No. 7 or 8, on 
fine gut, and work it as directed at page 29 for worm-fishing. 

In some streams, dibbing for Trout with the natural fly 
is very much practised. When the May-fly is on the water, 
this method is extremely killing. Use the ordinary fly-rod, 
with & very fine gut casting-line attached to the winch-line, 
and a No. 8 or 9 hook. Catching one of the flies at which 
you observe the Trout rising, place it carefully on the hook. 
Standing as far back as possible, allow the wind to carry it 
on to the water ; if a fish does not rise, lift and drop it again. 
Strike directly it is taken. Being very tender, it must be 
used very carefully, as the least jerk in casting will break it. 
If one fly is not sufficient, use a couple ; they will be found 
more killing near the bank than in the centre of the stream. 
There are several patterns of artificial May-fries or " Drakes," 
some having cork bodies so as to give more floating power, 
others with larvae bodies ; straw and chenille also make good 
bodies. The Alder-fly used under water is at times very 
killing when the May-fly is on. 

For the best general list of Trout rivers, and the flies 
peculiar to them, I would advise the reader to consult Hof- 



land's "British Angler's Manual," or Francis' "Book on 
Angling;" but for a general selection of good killing flies, 
the Palmers, Red, Black, and Brown, the Duns, Black Gnats, 
Hare's Ears, and March Browns will be found best. 

PINNING for Trout is much practised in the 
" Thames, and occasionally with great success, 
especially at the commencement of the season ; 
early in the morning and towards sunset are 
generally the best times. In my " Complete 
Guide to Spinning and Trolling " will be found 
the following remarks, extremely characteristic of 
the Thames Trout: — -"When dropping down the stream 
quietly in a punt, on a fine summer's evening, while the 
setting sun tinges the distant water with gold, the Trout may 
be observed feeding on the shallows, and driving the minnows 

and other small fish in shoals towards the shore, being as 
voracious in that respect as their mortal enemy the Pike ; their 
mouth is admirably adapted for that purpose. The jaws and 
toDgue being studded with small teeth, they are thus enabled 
to destroy multitudes of small bleak, minnows, and gudgeons." 
"Next to the lordly Salmon, to which, to my mind, it is 
quite equal in beauty, the Trout may be considered the 
most game of fresh-water fish. Who that has ever experi- 
enced it can forget the first rush of a noble Thames Trout in 
full season, especially if the Angler be spinning from a weir ; 
he dashes down the run, some sixty yards or so, like a flash 
of lightning, making the line whistle through the rings, and 
as if determined to carry all before him ; now he rises to 
the surface, and springing out full a yard, throws a somer. 

TROUT. 23 

sault in the air, and tries by that means to rid himself of the 
hooks ; but the skilful Angler frustrates this little device by 
lowering the point of the rod and meeting him half-way. 
By careful management he is at last tired out, and his captor 
taking advantage of a moment's quiet, descends from his 
position on the weir, and safely lands his prize on the grassy 
bank below." 

The Spinning Rod I use is of mottled cane, about thirteen 
feet in length ; light and somewhat springy, as the bait and 
trace being rather light (unless when fishing very rapid 
water), the spring of the rod will be found of great assist- 
ance in throwing the bait. The rod should be in four pieces 
for convenience of carriage, and with two extra tops ; a 
large wooden button should be screwed to the socket of the 
butt, to press against the hip when spinning. The Improved 
Bronze Winches are amongst the latest improvements in 
the Angler's equipment ; their advantages are, extreme light- 
ness and the absence of the annoying glitter inseparable 
from bright brass ; in addition to this, the pin of the handle 
being fixed into the plate of the winch (instead of the handle 
being made in the ordinary manner) prevents all possibility 
of the line catching round the handle and locking the winch. 

Some prefer the hardwood winches. Instead of allowing 
the line, in spinning, to lie at their feet in the usual manner, 
they throw the line directly from the winch, using rather a 
long rod, and wind it in again on to the winch, instead of 
drawing it in with the hand. But as these wooden winches, 
or reels, run extremely easy, they require considerable care 
in use ; for if the line is thrown from them with the least 
jerk, the bait will go in any direction but the right one, and 
when it has dropped in the water and the line ceased running 
out, the winch, from the impetus it has received, will run on 
and wind tbe line the reverse way, often entangling it and 
getting it into knots. 

We next come to the Line ; this should be of the best 
plaited silk, from sixty to a hundred yards in length, and 
fine ; properly prepared with waterproof dressing,,, which 
prevents it kinking, as it is impossible to throw a bait pro- 
perly with a line that kinks or curls up in knots, as the un- 



dressed lines invariably do when they are soaked with water. 
Be particular to dry the line well after use, before putting it 
away, in order to keep it from rotting. 

The next thing required is the Trace. The one I use in 
the Thames is about two yards in length, of gut, slightly 
coloured ; with four swivels, and from eight to sixteen shots 
in the middle of the trace, as in the sketch ; the same style 
of trace may be used in any river, varying, of course, the 
strength and the weight according to the size of the fish and 
the rapidity of the current. In the Colne, and similar small 

rivers, I should use fine gut for the traces and flights 
hooks, weighting them in proportion. 

An extremely useful weight for the trace is that known as 
the " Field " lead. It will be observed that the lead is made 
so that all the weight will be on one side, the other side being 
just thick enough to cover the hole through which the gut 
passes. When in use, the weight being entirely underneath, 
it prevents the line, above it, turning round or kinking, and 
if the stream is strong, will be more effectual if hung on a 
wire underneath the line as in the sketch. 

l( A £ r 


TROUT. 25 

There are a great variety of Flights used in Trout spinning. 
The one I prefer consists of three triangles, a sliding lip-hook 
and a reverse-hook mounted on gut. Drawings of other 
patterns will be found in Chap. IV., which will be found 
serviceable for Trout if made on a small scale on gut. The 
" Pennell " Trout-tackle, of which a drawing is annexed, is 
baited thus : having killed the minnow, push the pointed 
lead well down the throat ; then pass the lip-hook through 
both lips, and insert one hook of the triangle through 
the back, just below the back-fin, so as to crook or bend the 
body sufficiently to make the bait spin ; the end triangle 
hangs over the tail. 

The Water Witch or " Chapman Spinner," described at 
page 38, will be found a first-rate Trout-tackle, made small 
enough for minnow or small bleak and mounted on gut ; 
easy to bait and spinning well. 

The Editor of the Fishing Gazette, E. B. Marston, 
Esq., has registered a new invention which he has 
named the " Fishing Gazette Spinner," the rotary 
motion being communicated to the bait by means of 
a circular fan fixed at the head of the bait. The 
annexed cut shows a very useful spinning-tackle on 
which the bait can be easily adjusted. Drawings 
of other tackle fitted with these Spinners will be 
found at page 37. 

The baits for small streams may he either min- \Jfy ' 
nows or small bright gudgeons. I prefer the latter, 
as they spin better and last longer, whereas the minnows 
soon tear and become useless. When these are scarce, 
whitebait preserved in methylated spirits have been found 
very useful, as they will keep good for a long time. For 
larger streams, I use a small bleak, which has, when properly 
placed on the hooks, a very bright and star-like appearance 
in the water, although, like the minnow, it soon wears out, 
unless used with great care. The bait should be always 
placed on the hooks with a scrupulous regard to its spinning 
truly ; for I have always found that the better the bait 
spins, the better the Trout likes it, and, as a matter of 
course, the greater the chance of success. 



Of the Artificial baits, the "Minnow" spinning by means 
of the pectoral-fin, and mounted on gut in a similar manner 
to the drawing at page 39 is one of the most natural as well as 
being often one of the most successful. The latest improve- 
ment on these is the " Bell's Life Spinner," in which the 
spinning power is in the tail, and the projecting fins are 
removed. They are undoubtedly the most life-like baits 
ever brought out, and we have already heard of several good 
Trout having been caught with them. On the 27th April, 
1880, H. P. Hughes, Esq., caught at Shepperton a brace of 
handsome Thames Trout, weighing respectively 9 and 7g lbs. , 
with one of these baits ; in each case the Trout took it so 
completely in the mouth that it required scissors to cut out 
the hooks. Care should be taken to keep the tail bent at the 
correct angle, as on this so much depends with regard to the 
straight spinning of the bait. " J. P. W.," the Angling 
Editor of Bell's Life., who has been very successful with 
them, pronounces them " perfect" and " quite irresistible." 

The " Cleopatra " is a hollow metal bait, in the form of a 
fish, but made in separate sections, hinged together by pins 
so as to make it flexible. It is a great improvement on the 
old style of metal bait, and has a really wonderful appear- 
ance in the water. It is made in silver for coloured water, 
and gold for clearer streams ; and is a very killing bait. 

The " Devon," " Angel," or " Totnes " minnow, is a 



different style of metal bait, sometimes used entirely bright 
for coloured water or with the back painted brown for bright 
rivers. It will be noticed that the bait being divided length- 
ways in the hinder half of the body, the fly-triangles project 
from either side through the division. The bait being loose 
on the mounting, when a fish is hooked, it will often be 

found that the bait is blown up the Hue, leaving the hooks 
alone in the mouth of the Trout. There is a swivel just 
inside the bait, but it is better to have two or three more on 
the gut trace. A friend of mine who used to fish a small 
Welsh stream which in parts was not much wider than a 
ditch, could catch more Trout than any one else who fished 
the same water by using a rather long, light, and stiff rod 
with a fine line and small Totnes Minnow. Instead of walk- 
ing direct up to the river, he would crawl up on his hands 
and knees till within reach of the water ; then, dropping the 
bait gently above a hole, he would draw it sufficiently sharp 
down-stream to spin it properly, and used to catch Trout 
from parts of the brook that many others would have passed 
without trying. 

The " White Phantom " bait is also good when the water 
is slightly coloured, the ordinary painted ones being used 
for clearer water ; they are made of silk, and being hollow, 
fill to the shape of the minnow when spun in the water ; on 
being seized by the fish they collapse, leaving him with 
three triangles in his mouth, instead of the coveted morsel. 
One of our friends took with the same Brown Phantom six 
Salmon averaging 28 lb. ; this was in Loch Tay in 1875. 

To throw the Spinning bait, draw from the winch as much 

28 TROUT. 

line as you deem necessary to reach the distance you intend 
to throw ; commence with ten or fifteen yards ; when you 
are able to throw that length of line neatly, then increase it 
a yard or two at a time. A master of the art will throw 
from forty to fifty yards of line, hut on no account have out 
more line than you can conveniently manage ; if you do, it 
will only be in your way, and when fishing from the bank 
will be sure to catch up loose twigs and grass. Drawing the 
requisite length of line from your winch, let it fall in loose 
coils in front of your left foot. Hold the rod firmly in the 
right hand about eighteen inches up the butt, the wooden 
button on the socket of which should be kept tight to the 
hip ; draw the line in with the thumb and two first fingers 
of the left hand, till the bait hangs about five or six feet 
from the top of the rod. Bring the point of the rod round 
to the right, to give the bait the necessary swing, and throw 
the bait sharply to the left (or vice versa, as occasion may 
require), at the same time letting free the line in the left 
hand, still keeping the butt tight to the hip ; the bait will 
then be carried out to the full extent of the line, the coiled 
portion running freely through the rings. 

As soon as the bait enters the water, spin it either across 
or against the stream ; in fact, in any direction that the 
nature of the place may render most convenient to yourself. 
The line, which is now held lightly in the same hand as the 
rod, should be drawn through the right hand, about a couple 
of feet at a time, by the thumb and the two first fingers of 
the left hand ; coiling it at the feet as before. Keep the rod 
steady with the point about a foot from the surface of the 
water, holding it in such a manner that the top may keep a 
slight strain upon the line, which should not be drawn in too 
fast at each backward motion of the left hand. The beginner 
in the art should learn the method of gathering up the line in 
the left hand as practised by the Thames punt-men ; he will 
find it extremely useful when fishing from a weir. " Let 
him observe a first-rate Thames spinner standing on the top 
of a weir (a performance requiring rather a strong head and 
good nerves) casting his bait into the foaming torrent below ■ 
now gathering up the line with the thumb and little finger of 

TROUT. 29 

the left hand, and again throwing out the spinning-bait from 
a twelve or thirteen feet rod with the right hand, at the same 
time letting go the gathered line, and spinning the bait across 
the eddies in a masterly manner, while the left hand is again 
collecting the line for another throw. All this should be 
seen to be admired and imitated, for no description can do it 
anything like justice." This was my advice in " Spinning 
and Trolling " to the novice in the art, and I can only repeat 
that the best way to become proficient is to observe and 
imitate a first-class fisherman. Although, when spinning, 
the fish will often hook himself, yet it is safer to strike with 
a short and moderately strong jerk of the wrist as soon as 
the bait is taken ; playing and landing him secundum artem. 
Be careful not to lift the bait from the water till it is quite 
close to the edge, if fishing from the bank ; Trout will fre- 
quently follow it close up. 

UNE, July, and August are the best months for 
using the worm. Fish with a light thirteen 
feet cane rod, with upright rings, and a very 
fine running-line. If the water is very clear, 
the best places would be under bushes, or by 
the side of piles, etc. The worm may be used 
either with or without a float ; should you intend 
fishing with a float, use a small quill, ascertaining 
the depth as directed in " Perch Fishing ; " keep if possible 
a few yards above your swim, and occasionally throw in a 
few worms chopped in small pieces. The bottom line should 
be of the finest gut, and the hook about No. 5 for a worm, 
or No. 9 if for gentles ; when baiting with these, throw in a 
few carrion gentles, now and then, at the head of the swim. 
A sketch is given at page 4 of the original " Stewart Worm 
Tackle," made with four hooks; a similar arrangement of 
three hooks only is preferable. This can be used with a 
Fly-rod, casting up-stream without any shots on the line, 
and in this style of fishing, a great point is to throw lightly 
(so as not to injure the worm) and with certainty to the 
required part, avoiding any sudden jerk which might tear 

30 TROUT. 

the bait. When a Trout seizes it there is generally a stop- 
page of the line, then an even pull and a running out of the 
line ; when this again stops, the angler should strike. 

In fishing small streams in this manner, it will be found 
preferable to fish without any shots whatever, allowing the 
bait to travel naturally with the current and working round 
the eddies, its own weight sinking it to a sufficient depth, 
and the stream carrying it again out of the eddies in the 
same way that a worm would go if washed down in the 
ordinary course ; therefore the only times when the shots 
are necessary will be when the water is too deep and rapid 
for the worm to sink deep enough for the Trout to see it, 
or when the wind is too high for the line to be kept in the 
water without them. A small lob or marsh worm well 
scoured, or a large brandling, may be used ; but always be 
careful to take a sufficient supply : few things are more annoy- 
ing than to run short of bait just when the Trout are feeding. 

"When a Trout takes the worm a slight pull at the line is 
generally the first notice the Angler receives ; there is then 
usually a running out of the line and an even pull. When 
this ceases, which shows that the Trout has reached his 
resting-place, the Angler should then strike. When the 
Stewart tackle is used, strike at the first pull. Always throw 
the worm a short distance above where you think a Trout is 
lying, so that the worm may sink well when it arrives there, 
as Trout take it best near the bottom. 

|IVE-BAITING for Trout is practised with some 
success in the Thames ; a bright lively Bleak 
or small Dace is used, hooked through the lips 
with a single hook and a triangle on the back ; 
the gut tolerably strong ; this tackle is worked 
with or without a float according to circum- 
The running-line should be fine, and the bait 
worked down-stream to the place where a Trout has 
been marked. It is then stopped and manipulated as skil- 
fully as possible. When the Trout is hooked, keep the line 
clear, and do not hold him too tightly- 































Chaptee IV. 


k HIS voracious fish has a flattish head, the under 
jaw being rather longer than the upper one and 
turning up slightly at the point ; the mouth is 
immensely large, and is thickly studded with 
teeth, the lower jaw being furnished round the 
edge with large and sharp canine teeth. The 
body of a Jack or Pike is long, with small hard scales ; 
when in season the back is of a greenish gold colour 
shading into a creamy white under the belly, and is beauti- 
fully marked on the back and sides with large yellowish 
spots ; the eyes are bright yellow, so placed in the sockets 
as to enable the Pike to see what passes above him ; the fins 
and tail are a dark purply colour marked with dark wavy 

Pike, or Jack (as they are termed when small), are found 
in ponds, lakes, canals, and rivers, where there are beds of 
weeds ; and grow to a very large size. I have seen them 
weighing 40 lbs. In the Field of 9th June, 1877, reference 
is made to a monster weighing 130 lbs., which was caught 
in the Lake of Constance. From March to the end of June 
they are out of season, resorting to ditches and creeks, or 
the stillest parts of the river, for the purpose of spawning ; 
at such times the small ones take the bait eagerly, but are 
only fit to be returned to the water. From July (on the 
first of which month Jack-fishing usually commences) to 
October, they are generally found near or amongst sedges, 
water-docks, or flagweeds. They are seldom found where 
the stream is very rapid, but a retreat in the vicinity of a 
whirlpool, or sharp bend, is a favourite locality. In rivers, 
about the middle of September, when the weeds are rotting, 

32 PIKE. 

Jack may be observed lying among the weeds, basking in 
the sun ; appearing too lazy to take a bait, for it is not 
unusual to see the small fry swimming and playing about 
their deadly enemy, without his taking the trouble to dis- 
turb them. As the winter approaches, Pike retire into deeps, 
under clay banks, or where bushes overhang the water, and 
where sunken roots of trees and stumps afford them a strong- 

The most favourable weather for Jack-fishing is when a 
slight breeze blows from south-west, sufficient to ripple the 
water, and the day cloudy and dull. Thick water is not 
favourable, for during a flood, which causes a coloured water, 
Jack and Pike keep close in shore, among the rushes and 
sedges which grow near the banks ; or in the still bends of 
rivers, to keep out of the rapid current, remaining almost 
stationary until the waters clear and subside ; but as soon 
as this occurs, then comes the Angler's turn, for having 
been for some time on short allowance, they are then bold, 
voracious, and will fearlessly take the bait. 

The voracity of the Pike is well known to be enormous. 
In April 1863, whilst spinning for Trout at Marlow, my gut 
flight was bitten off by a Jack ; putting on a fresh flight and 
bait, I threw in the same direction as before. The very first 
throw I caught him, with the first flight still in his mouth ; 
and know of many similar occurrences. There are several 
instances of Pike being choked through trying to swallow 
one but slightly smaller than themselves. There is a case 
mentioned of a large Pike seizing a Swan by the head while 
it was groping for food among the reeds in the lake. He 
got the head down, but the body was too large even for his 
capacious jaws ; being unable to disgorge, he was choked, 
and the bodies were found a few days afterwards on the 
shore. They will, in fact, seize anything, from a Swan to 
a leaden plummet. "While an Angler was plumbing the 
depth in a Roach-swim, in the Lea, some time since, a Jack 
of two pounds took the plummet ; he was safely landed, 
owing to the hook projecting slightly from the side of the 

And here I may mention, that I consider the best way 



of cooking Pike is to split them down the back, take out 
the long bone ; if large, cut in fillets ; and fry with egg and 

7 ACK-FISHING may be classed under four heads, 
) viz., Spinning, Live-bait-fishing, Trolling, and 
» Snap-fishing. Spinning is by far the most 
scientific and interesting method of fishing for 
~ I& Pike, requiring some amount of muscular 
exertion to practise it properly. The most useful 
rod is of mottled cane, from twelve to thirteen feet 
in length. It is best in four pieces, so as to be in a 
compact form for travelling ; and with two extra tops of 
different lengths, to be used for Snap and Live-bait fishing. 
The shoulders of each joint should be double brazed, the 

plain shoulders almost invariably sticking in the ferrule of 
the next joint in wet weather, in consequence of the wood 
swelling ; when this occurs, any difficulty in taking the rod 
to pieces, arising from this cause, may be obviated by 
warming the long ferrule in the flame of a candle ; when 
cold, it may be separated easily. The rings at the end of 
the tops, and the ring on the butt, should be of steel, to 
counteract the effects of the constant friction of the line. 
All the other rings should be fixed upright. 

Beside the mottled cane rods, there are others of hickory, 
with the butt of ash and the top of lancewood. These are 
capital for heavy fishing and rough work, but I give the 
preference to the mottled East India cane, as much for its 
handsome appearance as for difference in weight and its 
general utility. 

The Winch should be either entirely a plain one, or the 


34 PIKE. 

" Improved Bronze " already mentioned. Some fishermen 
prefer hard-wood winches, which run very easy ; these are very 
useful when live-baiting, as there is nothing to check the fish. 

The Line should be from sixty to a hundred yards long, 
of the best eight-plait silk, rather fine, so as to make as 
little show as possible in the water. It should be prepared 
with waterproof dressing to prevent kinking. 

The Trace for Spinning, which is fastened to the line 
thus (or as in the sketch at page 4), — 

(the end of the line being first knotted to prevent it slipping 
when wet), should be of moderate sized gimp, with from two 
to four swivels, and about three feet in length ; the weight 
(shots or "field" lead) required on it to sink the spinning 
bait, will vary, of course, according to the water in which it 
is to be used. A trace which would be heavy for still water, 
such as a lake, unless very deep, would probably be much too 
light for a stream such as is found in some parts of the 
Thames and similar rivers. For my own part, I prefer large 
salmon gut for the material of the trace, as it is quite equal in 
strength to gimp, if not stronger, besides being transparent in 
the water, and using moderate sized gimp for the flight of 
hooks or artificial bait. The following short Trace will often 
be found useful, when extra weight is required: the requi- 
site number of shots being strung on a short piece of gimp, 
the ends of this are fastened to a couple of swivels ; a loop 
of gut or yellow gimp being attached to each of these, the 
Trace is ready for use. 

The Flight I use, and consider the best, is composed of 
three triangles, a reverse hook, and sliding lip-hook, mounted 
on yellow gimp, the length of the flight being in proportion 
to the bait. To bait it : the hook in the triangle at the end of 
the flight, lying in a line with the reverse hook, is inserted 
in the centre of the root of the tail ; the reverse hook is then 
inserted in the side of the bait, nearly opposite the vent ; one 
hook of each of the remaining triangles is inserted in the 



side of the fish, in a line with the mouth, keeping the body 
straight, and on passing the lip-hook through both lips, the 
bait is ready for use. By 
keeping the body perfectly 
straight as far as the vent, 
and curving the tail almost at 
right angles with the body, the 
bait will spin " true " when 
drawn through the water. Some 
Anglers prefer the bait to spin 
with a "wobbling" motion, 
considering it then more resem- 
bles a wounded fish ; but I al- 
ways prefer a straight spinner. 

Besides the one just men- 
tioned, there are the following 
flights, which are on the saaie 
principle of curving the tail, 
but two of them are without 
the reverse hook. 

No. 1 is the flight already 
described, but with the addi- 
tion of a fly-triangle ; this is 
mounted on a short piece of 
gimp, having a small loop 
which is passed down the 
gimp of the flight you intend 
to use before it is fastened to 
the trace, and hangs on the 
lip-hook. One hook of this 
triangle may be inserted in 
the reverse side of the bait, 
which otherwise would be ex- 
posed without hooks. By the 
way, loose fly-triangles are not 
novelties ; I used them myself 
more than twenty years since, and am persuaded that if they 
were more generally in use there would be fewer instances of 
fish being really missed with the spinning-bait. Nos. 2 and 
3 are also good patterns. 



There is another variety of flight greatly fancied by some 

Thames spinners ; 
it consists of four 
triangles and a lip- 
hook, attached to 
the gimp by one 
very small loop 
only, at the end of 
the shank of the 
hook. When used, 
the end triangle is 
fixed in the tail, 
and the others 
along the side, the 
second triangle 
being inserted in 
the fish so as to 
curve the tail ; be- 
fore the lip-hook 
goes through the 
lips, the gimp is 
twisted two or 
three times round 
the shank of the 
hook to prevent it 

No. 4 is baited 
thus : — The baiting 
needle, to which is 
attached the loop 
of the gimp, is in- 
serted in the vent 
of the bait ; push 
it through, and 
drawing it out at 
the mouth, bring 
the triangle close 
No - 3 - up to the vent, and 

insert the loose hook in the tail, to give it the necessary 


curve ; take off the needle, and drawing 
the lead down the gimp, force it into 
the mouth of the bait, which is now 
ready for use. The whole of the weight 
being concealed in the bait, none is 
required on the trace. 

No. 5, the " Water Witch," like the 
last, has the whole of the weight in 
the head of the bait ; the spinning 
motion being produced by the pectoral 
fins at the head. The Spear, having 
on it the lead (which it will be ob- 
served has a small projecting pin 
pointing towards the head, for the 
purpose of retaining the bait in proper 
position) is pushed down the throat of 
the bait, so that only the fins are left 
projecting on either side of the mouth ; 
the fly-triangles may either be left 
loose, or one hook of each inserted in 
the bait ; which last will be safer if 
there are many weeds. 

In the accompanying plate will be 
found different varieties of the Fishing 
Gazette tackle. A is the " spinner," 
or fan, which gives the rotary motion 
to the bait ; made in various sizes, it 
can be applied to any style of flight 
for Pike, Perch, or Trout. Care must 
be taken not to curve the bait. B and 
C show the "spinner" applied to the 
Water Witch instead of the fins ; it is 1 
used in the same manner. D is an or- 
dinary flight with the spinner attached. 

A different description of spinning 
tackle, but on the first principle of 
curving the tail, is the " Pennell " (No. 
6), a drawing of which is annexed, 
with and without a bait, and the style 

To. 4. 



No. 5. 

of tackle will be 
readily observed. 
An improvement on 
tbis is tbe "Fran- 
cis" (No. 8), with a 
loose-ringed triangle 
standing out from 
tbe side of tbe bait, 
tbe two books on 
eitber side of tbis 
triangle belping 
materially to keep 
tbe body of tbe 
bait from buckling, 
but I tbink a fly- 
triangle reaching as 
in tbe sketcb to tbe 
edge of tbe gills on 
tbe reverse side will 
be an improvement. 
No. 7 is similar 
to No. 3, but is tied 
witb tbe triangles 
wider apart, and is 
baited as sketched. 
It is much used in 
tbe Midland Coun- 
ties ; the lip-hook 
is passed as usual 
through tbe lips, 
the first triangle is 
fixed at tbe shoul- 
der, the second 
triangle is hooked 
in just behind the 
dorsal fin so as to 
draw tbe bait up 
and crook the body, 
which is thus bent 






US {J 

N°. 8 



the tail curved; the 

in the middle instead of having 

end triangle is 

allowed to fly 

loose. I have 

found this tackle 

very successful in 


The best Natural 
Spinning Baits are 
Gudgeons, Dace, 
or. small Chub 
from five to six 
inches in length. 
Some Anglers pre- 
fer a Eoach, but 
unless a very nar- 
row one be used, 
it will not spin in 
so satisfactory a 
manner as a Dace. 
I have also spun 
with a very small 
Barbel in default 
of having a Gud- 
geon of the requi- 
site size. Baiting 
a flight so as to 
spin properly is 
not a very easy 
operation for a 
beginner, but prac- 
tice and a careful 
attention to the 
foregoing direc- 
tions will soon 
overcome these 
little difficulties. 

The Artificial 
Baits most in use are the Pectoral-fin Baits, of which there 

40 PIKE. 

are several sizes ; the style of mounting I prefer is shown 
on the preceding page. I think, however, that the new 
" Bell's Life Spinner," which is an artificial fish spinning by 
means of the tail being bent at a certain angle, will supersede 
to a great extent the pectoral-fin baits, as there is nothing in 
the shape of a protruding fin to stop a Pike being hooked. 
It is mounted in the same manner as the others, and is a 
very killing bait. Mr. Knechtli tells me that one of his 
friends has been very successful in Switzerland this season 
(1880) with this bait. 

The Phantom Baits are also good killers, more especially 
in lakes. The " Cleopatra " of which a, drawing is given at 
page 26 is one of the best of the artificial baits for Pike, 
and I have found it extremely killing both in the Thames 
and in lakes, taking with it Pike that had previously refused 
the natural bait. 

There are several varieties of Spoon-baits, some being a 
plain bright silver spoon with a triangle at the end and 
another in the hollow of the spoon ; others are made as in 
the drawing, hanging by a ring on a wire, to the end of 
which is attached a triangle, with a bunch of scarlet wool; 
these have scales engraved on them and look very brilliant 
when in use. I have taken Pike with them in Lakes. 

The manner of throwing the Spinning-bait has already 
been described in "Trout-fishing." When weeds are found 
within six or eight inches of the surface, the bait should be 
skimmed, as it were, nearly along the surface of the water. 
This may be accomplished by using fewer shot, a light bait, 
and keeping the point of the rod well elevated. Generally 
speaking, it is not of vital importance which way you spin 
the bait, so that you do it well and steadily ; just sufficiently 
fast to keep the bait revolving in an attractive manner, at 
about half the depth of the water, without fouling weeds, but 
not so rapidly as to make its speed greater than that of the 

PIKE. 41 

fish pursuing it. Its revolving motion undoubtedly makes 
it exceedingly attractive to fish of prey ; from whom it pro- 
bably appears to fly madly for its life, although it possesses 
none. Make it therefore no difficult task for the Pike to 
overtake your bait and seize it with facility. 

Although the Pike will very often hook himself, still it is 
better to strike with a short and moderately strong jerk of 
the wrist, as soon as the bait is taken. 

The following directions for landing a Pike will be found 
in the " Guide to Spinning and Trolling," to which the 
reader is referred for more detailed descriptions of tackle, 
etc. : — " We will suppose that you have now hooked your 
fish, which will, if it be of any size, require careful handling. 
Do not be in a hurry to land him. More fish are lost by the 
nervous feeling which shoots through the young Angler 
when he feels the first rush of a Pike, than by any other 
cause whatever. Keep the point of your rod well raised 
and the line taut ; if he makes for a bed of weeds, and pulls 
hard, give him line, but still try to turn him by holding the 
rod the contrary way, and endeavour to lead him back to the 
place from whence he started. Now he strikes off again ; 
let him go ; now wind him in again, but do not distress your 
line by keeping it too tight on the fish. He now makes 
shorter journeys, and seems inclined to come to shore ; hold 
him a little tighter, and feel if he will allow you to raise and 
show him ; but be collected and careful. If fishing from the 
shore, try to lead him to the nearest opening in the rushes. 
Keep your line free, for he will possibly for a few moments 
be more violent than ever, as if he were determined to break 
the strongest tackle. Give him a few turns more, and he 
will be quiet enough. Now draw him again in shore, * * * 
keeping the head a little raised above the surface of the 
water, so that the nose or gills may not hang to or catch 
hold of weeds, etc. * * * If you have a friend with you with 
a landing-net or gaff-hook, your prize is easily landed ; but 
if you are alone, and without a gaff, then draw him as close 
as possible and keep the line tight, grasp the Pike behind the 
gills, and throw him up a few yards on the grass." 

In lakes or in large rivers, a Colossal Artificial Fly with 
two large hooks at the tail and another concealed in the 

42 PIKE. 

wings, is sometimes used for large Pike with much success. 
It is managed in a similar manner to the spinning-bait, but 
without any weight on the line, and is worked on or near 
the top of the water. 

I have found the Pike- Gag a very useful implement ; of 
great assistance when disengaging the hooks. It shuts up 
like a pair of scissors, and when in use, the points A A in 
the sketch are inserted in the mouth of the Pike, which can 
be opened to the required extent by means of the bows, 
which fit on the finger and thumb. The Gag is kept open by 
means of the steel extender B, the teeth of which ar%made 
to catch on the screw C ; but when not in use this portion 
shuts up on one limb of the Gag, the notch D fitting on the 
screw E and keeping it secure. The Pike-Gag can also be used 
as scissors, being very strong, and sharpened for the purpose. 

ISHXNG for Jack with a Live-bait, and a cork 
float attached to the line, is certainly the most 
popular, as it also is undoubtedly the easiest. 
The small amount of labour required is probably 
the cause of many preferring it, as it allows them 
frequent opportunities of resting, whentbey arrive 
at a still, quiet place, either in rivers or lakes. 
The spinning-rod of mottled cane will do equally 
well for live-baiting, using a stiffer top. Many anglers use 
the wooden winch when live-bait fishing ; when you have a 
ran (as a " bite " is termed in Jack-fisbing), and the rod is 
lying on the ground, it has the great advantage of allowing 
the line to run off freely ; otherwise it is necessary to leave 
a few yards of line loose on the ground, to allow the Jack, 
after taking the bait, to run to the haunt where he feeds, 
without hindrance ; a rod-rester to keep the rod from the 
ground is very useful. For live-baiting I prefer a fine line, 
as it will float for a considerable time, and is consequently 
less liable to become entangled with the bait (it will float 
better still, if it be rubbed with strong palm oil). The line 
should be from fifty to eighty yards, of prepared plaited silk. 
Always have a line long enough at first, for when in constant 
use, and with the occasional strain on it of a twelve or fifteen 
pound Pike, beside the friction of the rings, you will find it 



necessary to break off, now and then, a yard or two from the 
working end, to keep it in good order. 

The Float I use is of the following shape, with a hole en- 
tirely through it ; the line being run through, push in a small 
plug, as in the sketch. 

The next requirement is the Trace, 
of moderate-sized yellow gimp, or of 
twisted gut, and furnished with two 
swivels, and a dip-lead to sink the bait. 
The hooks, which should be tied on 
yellow gimp, about a foot in length, 
are of two descriptions, single and 

The single hook, which 
should be about this size, 
may be used either by 
hooking the bait through 
the side of the lips, or by 
passing it under the back 
fin, taking care not to in- 
sert it too low in the fish, 
or injure the bone, as the bait would 
then soon die. 

The double hooks range 
two : — 
the bait ; 
have the 
too stout. 

the double hook, place 
the loop of the gimp on 

in sizes 

size of 
do not 
To use 



Double Hook and 
Baiting Needle. 

Live-Bait, ready for use. 

PIKE. 45 

the hook at the end of the baiting-needle, enter the point 
under the skin of the bait on the shoulder, and close behind 
the gills, bringing it out near the back fin ; draw the gimp, 
from which you remove the needle, till the bend of the double 
hook is brought to where the needle entered. The loop is 
then fastened on the hook-swivel at the end of the trace, and 
the bait is ready for use. 

When passing the baiting-needle under the skin, do it 
carefully, so as not to wound the flesh or remove the scales 
unnecessarily ; the bait will then swim nearly as strong 
with the hooks as without. When fishing weedy places, be 
careful always to remove any small weeds that become 
attached to the hooks when drawing the bait out of the water. 

The Paternoster, of which a full description is given in 
" Perch-fishing," is a first-rate tackle for use amongst weeds 
where the live-bait with float would inevitably become en- 
tangled ; it should either be all gimp, or a gut line with 
gimp hooks, projecting from six to ten inches as in the 
sketch at page 56 ; one, two, or three hooks being used, 
according to circumstances. 

The baits that live the longest, and are therefore best for 
a journey, are Thames Gudgeons ; they are a strong hardy 
fish, and will not require the water to be. changed so often 
as others do. Dace, small Chub, and Eoach are equally 
good, but require fresh water oftener than Gudgeons. 

To carry the live-baits you require a kettle, which should 
be a full-sized one of zinc, or japanned tin, with square ends. 
When at the river side, and it is not in use, keep the kettle 
in the water out of the sun, tying one end of a cord to the. 
handle and the other end to a peg, which you can stick in 
the ground. 

The "improved" bait-can is shown in the sketch, and is 
thus describedin the Fishing Gazette of 28th September, 1877 : 
" This attracted our attention at the Piscatorial Exhibition 
as being of practical aspect. The arrangement simply con- 
sists of a fish-holder made of perforated zinc, which fits 
accurately into an oval water-can, as shown on the next 
page. It will at once be seen how readily the live-bait 
placed in the inner vessel can be drained from stale water — 



placed safely in a running stream if opportunity presents 
— or be replaced in the outer can after a change of water." 

The best time for live-bait fishing is when the heavy 
weeds are rotten. From October till March Pike will take 
a live-bait more freely than at any other time of the year. 
Fix the float at the proper distance from the bait ; as a 
general rule, not less than three feet, but often considerably 

more. To fish a hole of ten feet in depth, tolerably clear of 
weeds at bottom, I should fish about seven feet deep ; that 
is, I should have the float that distance from the live-bait. 

Begin by dropping in the bait gently near the shore, 
always keeping as much as possible out of sight ; if after a 
short time you do not have a run, make a fresh cast farther 
out, and to the right or left. When you take the bait from 

PIKE. 47 

the water to throw it to a fresh place, draw it slowly and 
gradually to the surface for that purpose ; I have often 
found Pike when not much on the feed strike at a bait 
which seemed to be escaping from them. 

Try all the still parts and bends of the river, pools, etc. ; 
also near beds of rushes, sedges, candock weeds, etc., in 
quiet corners. Eddies, and backwaters at the sides of weirs, 
are likely places for large fish. 

When the Pike seizes the live-bait it is generally with 
violence, and the float is instantly drawn under water ; keep 
the winch and line clear, watching the float as long as 
possible, and hold a yard or two of slack line in the left hand, 
so that nothing may check the Jack while he is making for 
his haunt to pouch the bait. If he runs rapidly, draw the 
line quickly from the winch, so that he may not be impeded. 
When he hasreached his haunt, and remains quiet, allow about 
ten minutes to pouch ; as a general rule, when he has done 
so, the line slackens slightly. When you have reason to 
suppose that the Jack is more inclined to play with the bait 
than to feed, and, when you have a run, he moves a short 
distance and stops, then moves again and waits a few 
moments, and a third time changes his quarters, then wind 
up the line, and strike smartly the contrary way to which he is 
running, and you will probably hook him in or about the mouth. 

0% ROLLING or Gorge-fishing was formerly con- 
j^H sidered the highest branch of the art of Jack- 
fishing, Spinning being then little understood. 

The Rod, Winch, and Line are the same as 
used for Spinning ; the Trace is of moderate 
sized gimp or twisted gut, with two swivels and 
without lead, the whole of the lead being on the 
gorge-hook, which is baited thus: — the loop of the 
gimp is attached to the baiting-needle, which is then inserted 
in the mouth of the bait, run it through and bring the point 
out, in the centre of the tail. The gimp is then drawn through 
till the bends of the hooks fit close on either side of the mouth 
of the bait, the points turning upwards. Most Anglers tie 



the tail to the gimp 
with white thread, 
to prevent it tear- 
ing when dropped 
among weeds. 

There are other 
sorts known as the 
Weed-hook and 
Spear Gorge-hook, 
much used when the 
weeds are very thick. 
A sketch of the for- 
mer is annexed. It 
is a short Gorge- 
hook, the gimp being 
in two parts, joined 
by small loops. To 
bait it, the end A is 
pushed in the mouth 
of the bait, which is 
sewed up so as to 
enclose the whole 
of the lead as well 
as the short piece 
of gimp B. The 
hooks are thus re- 
versed and cannot 
catch any weeds ; 
but on striking, the 
cotton breaks and 
the hooks resume 
their proper posi- 
tion. The bait, it 
will be observed, 
always goes down 
and comes up, head 

The best baits for 
Trolling are Gud- 

; As 




FOR i 


PIKE. 49 

geons and Dace. Jack are also taken in ponds (though sel- 
dom in rapid waters) by baiting with a Frog ; use a small 
Gorge hook and proceed the same as with a fish-bait, 
drawing the hooks close to the mouth and stretching out 
the hind-legs, which must be tied to the gimp. If you use 
a frog for live-baiting, hook him through the lips with a 
No. 4 hook ; if for Snap fishing, hook him through the skin 
of the back, striking almost immediately after he is seized 
by the Jack. 

There are various modes of working the Gorge-bait, when 
in the water, but it will be found best to commence near the 
shore, throwing it like the Spinning-bait. Let it sink nearly 
to the bottom, draw it gradually up till near the surface ; let 
it sink again, draw it a little to the right or left ; again, let it 
sink, and draw up slowly, and so on ; the next cast, working 
it up and down as before. When you have a run, the line 
will be pulled or tugged rather sharply ; lower the point of 
the rod, and proceed as described when live-baiting. 

NAP-FISHING is usually practised at such sea- 
sons as when Pike do not feed with sufficient 
eagerness to pouch the bait quickly ; but the 
great advantage this style of fishing possesses in 
the eyes of the true Angler is, that it enables him 
to return to the water undersized fish, which, if 
taken with the ordinary live-bait, he would be obliged 
to kill in consequence of their having pouched the hook. 
Unfortunately a large majority of fishermen seem to prefer 
quantity to quality, and destroy every fish taken, no matter 
how small ; regardless of the fact that by so doing they are 
spoiling all future sport both for themselves and others. In 
this spirit it is that so many soi-disant "anglers " may be 
seen extended in skiffs with small boys rowing them about, 
whilst they are trailing a spinning-bait and picking up any- 
thing, no matter what, in season or out of season. Their 
"take " may be large in number, but what is the average 
size ? Granted that when moving from one pitch or position 
to another, the bait should be left in the water; but to make 




a constant practice of trailing, and especially of keeping all, 
regardless of size, is decidedly objectionable. 

The rod should be rather stiff, to enable you to strike 
sharply ; the winch and line have been already described. 

Sketches of the best snap-hooks are given, though there 
are many more fancy patterns. 

The first is the Live-Bait-Snap, par excellence (to which 
Mr. Pennell, in his " Book of the Pike," has attached my 
nom de plume) : — 

It is used thus : — the small hook is inserted under the 
back fin, the point coming out at the other side ; the large 
hooks lay on the back, and the lip-hook is run through both 
lips. It is used (as are the following) with the ordinary 
live-bait trace and float. When the Pike seizes it, let him 
run a yard or two to make sure, and then strike sharply. 

The next is the Spring Snap : — 



PIKE. 51 

which is baited in the following manner : — the small hook is 
inserted under the back fin of the bait, and the large hooks 
hang at the side. When the Pike seizes the bait, strike 
sharply, and the large hooks fly out in contrary directions, 
the shanks being flattened for the purpose. 

The Saddle Snap is a very effective tackle ; a sketch is 
annexed of one ready-baited. The bait hangs on the small 
hook, which is inserted under the back fin, and a triangle is 
suspended on either side. The " Francis " Snap is made on 
this principle, but with only one triangle. 

The "Pennell" Snap is of the same pattern, but instead 
of being hooked under the back-fin, it is threaded with a 
needle across the side of the bait from belly to back under- 
neath the skin ; the triangle hanging below the bait. The 
great objection is, that if the bait has to be thrown far, the 
skin must necessarily be torn off the bait. The " Francis " 
style of baiting is by far the best. 

The " Jar dine " Snap is formed of two triangles tied a 
couple of inches apart at the end of a foot of gimp. The 
upper one is fixed under the back fin, and the end triangle 
is hooked, sometimes under the pectoral fin of the bait, as 
in the sketch, and at other times under and behind the 
ventral fin. A handsome Pike of 35 lbs., which was caught 
on this tackle, was exhibited at the Westminster Aquarium 
Exhibition of 1877. 

To hold the flights, traces, snap-hooks, etc., the Angler 
should be provided with a proper Tin Case about six or 
seven inches long, by three or four wide ; deep in propor- 
tion ; with divisions, so as to keep the tackle separate as 
much as possible. The cover of the one I use is in the form 
of a box, divided to hold traces, extra weights, etc. 

Always make it a rule to bait your hook the last thing 
after you have made all complete, as regards line, float, etc., 
and on hooking a Pike, do not strain on him too hard ; for 
although I never play a fish longer than I can help, yet 
when he plays well there is really no necessity to strain the 
tackle merely for the sake of landing him a minute or two 

And, lastly, remember when Jack-fishing in a place very 


likely for them to lie, not to leave after a throw or two only, 
but let the bait work the place well, especially if you have 
seen a fish move there before. Try well every foot of likely 
water, and if not successful, try again as you return. Nil 

Chapter V. 


v^nfiP** ^""^ Grayling spawns about April, making its 
j?|i^i2R way afterwards to the tails of sharp scouers 
\m\ till the middle of May. Unlike the Trout, they 
do not dwell in rapid shallow torrents, but re- 
quire a combination of pool and stream — the 
former for a resting-place, with a gradually 
declining shallow below, and a somewhat rapid stream 
above ; the bottom of gravel mixed with marl and 
loam, this being favourable to the growth of the insect food 
on whieh they principally live. Grayling seldom exceed 
three pounds in weight ; when first taken out of the water 
presenting a beautiful violet tint, with dusky lines along the 
sides, and the belly a pearly white ; the tail and fins are a 
purply colour. The best months for fly-fishing are from 
July to November, and from then till March for bottom- 
fishing ; but when the water is clear, they will rise at a fly, 
more or less, through the winter. One essential point is to 
fish fine, using the very finest gut, though the Grayling lies 
deeper and is not so shy a fish as the Trout ; as it will 
sometimes rise a dozen times at the same fly, in as many 
successive casts, provided the Angler stands back out of its 

The best Grayling rivers are those of the midland coun- 


ties, such as the Dove, Teme, etc. Great numbers of 
Grayling were introduced into the Thames a few years 
since, for the purpose of stocking that river ; with what 
result remains to be seen. Though with the great de- 
velopment of the science of Pisciculture, and the quantity 
of breeding apparatus at the disposal of the Thames 
Angling Preservation Society, this beautiful fish ought in 
time to become naturalized ; so as to take the place of the 
Trout during the time this fish is out of season, being con- 
sidered as much an autumn and winter fish as the Trout is 
belonging to spring and summer. Grayling do not bound 
out of the water or jump at the bait like the Trout, but will 
rise with great velocity to the top of the water to seize the 
fly, descending with equal rapidity to the bottom ; the dorsal- 
fin, used for this purpose, being remarkably large. The 
best Flies are the hackles, partridge, dun, black, red, etc.; 
small blue dun and hare's ear flies, march-brown and sand- 
flies. When the water is clear and smooth, they will take a 
dun-gnat tipped with gold tinsel, beneath the surface, using 
a very fine casting-line and allowing it to float with the 
current; you will not see a "rise," but a peculiar curl in 
the water, which with a little practice you will understand 
equally well. In the winter, when the weather is warm, 
they will rise for an hour or two in the middle of the day, 
at dun-gnats and very small soldier-palmers. The artificial 
grasshopper is an excellent bait; the following semi- artificial 
bait is sometimes very successful : — the shank of a No. 6 
hook is partially covered with lead, and then whipped with 
light green floss silk ; a piece of split straw should be bound 
on either side with a ribbing of yellow silk. Place a real 
grasshopper on the bend of the hook, and use it either with 
or without a very small quill float, which must be fixed on the 
line at the average depth of the water, using no shots ; allow 
the bait to sink to the bottom, and then draw it up a foot or 
so, sinking and drawing till a bite is felt. 

The rod for bottom-fishing should be of light cane, and 
about twelve feet in length ; the winch-line should be fine 
prepared plaited silk. Use a very fine three yard gut line 
and a quill float ; if you fish with gentles, or wasp grubs, 


use a No. 9 hook, if with red worms No. 7 or No. 8. Fish 
about two inches from the bottom, letting your float swim 
as steadily as possible ; if you fish with gentles, throw in a 
few occasionally, just above the swim ; when using worms, 
throw in a few chopped worms, not many at a time, but a 
very small quantity often. Grayling, when hooked, require 
gentle handling ; having a tender mouth, unless carefully 
treated, the hold will frequently break away. 

Chapter VI. 


HE Perch is a thick and broad fish, very high on 
the upper part of the back, with a fine bright 
eye, small head, and large mouth, well furnished 
with small teeth in addition to others in the 
throat. The tail and belly fins are a bright 
vermilion, the pectoral and dorsal fins brown. 
It has two fins on the back, the one nearer the head 
v< $ being armed with strong spikes, having extremely 
sharp points, which it erects when alarmed or attacked. 
The Angler should be careful, when unhooking a Perch, not 
to have his hands pricked by his sharp dorsal defence ; I 
have sometimes known it to have unpleasant results. The 
Perch is covered with strong scales, and is of a bronzy green 
on the back and down the sides ; on these are several dark 
stripes or shades, reaching from the back nearly to the belly, 
They appear to spawn at various times ; in some places in 
March, in others not till May or June, and are in season the 
remainder of the year, though they seldom feed well in frosty 
weather ; but when the weather is mild they may be taken 
all through the winter months. 


August, September, and October, are perhaps the best 
months for Perch, as they are then in high condition and 
colour. In cloudy weather, they will bite all day ; but in 
general, early in the morning, and towards evening are the 
most favourable periods for fishing. 

The Perch is a peculiar exception to the general rule that 
fish of prey are of a solitary nature. He, on the contrary, is 
socially gregarious, and as regards taking a bait, remarkably 
imitative ; it being well known that where you have taken 
one, you should invariably remain same time, and fishing 
with the ordinary amount of attention, you will in all pro- 
bability get all there are in the hole. Bat, lose one, and 
although he is naturally a bold biter, the chances are ten to 
one that he communicates his fright to all the rest, and that 
they will disappear with him ; leaving the Angler no other 
resource than to try a fresh place with more skill. Perch 
are to be found in the eddies of milltails, and weirs, also in 
deep still holes, about bridges, and in deep quiet corners of 
rivers, as well as in ponds. I have known them to grow to 
between five and six pounds' weight, but from a quarter of a 
pound to a pound is the ordinary size. 

HE Rod for Perch-fishing should be light, about 
twelve feet in length, of mottled cane, with up- 
right rings, not too stiff, but sufficiently so to 
strike sharp from the top. In ponds and small 
rivers forty or fifty yards of prepared plaited silk 
line will be enough, on a winch of proportionate 
size ; but in the Thames it will be safer to have a 
longer line, from sixty to a hundred yards. For in 
Perch-fishing from a weir you are extremely likely to hook a 
Trout, or vice versa. 

One of the most successful modes of fishing is with the 
Paternoster. This is used properly without a float, although 
some prefer it with ; in length it is about a yard and a half, 
of gut not too stout, with a Paternoster lead fastened to the 
bottom of it by a fine silk loop. This loop is made of fine 
silk, so that should the lead foul amongst the large stones at 


bottom, it may be broken off, without endanger- 
ing the rest of the tackle. On the gut are looped 
three hooks, size No. 4 or 5, which are tied to 
short pieces of gut about five inches in length. The 
bottom hook should be six ojc seven inches above the 
lead, the next about a foot above the bottom hook, 
and the next a foot above that, as in the sketch. 
A recent writer in describing this tackle refers to 
what he terms the "Paternoster of tackle makers," 
— a wonderful contrivance, concocted of hogs' 
bristles and perforated bone runners for the hooks. 
I should imagine from his description that he must 
have unearthed some Fossil Paternoster of the last 
century ; no "fisherman " of the present day would 
dream of using such a machine. The hooks should 
be attached to the main gut simply by loops 
knotted in so as to project at right angles from it. 
One of the most successful Paternoster fishers 
that I know uses hooks tied on rather fine drawn 
gut dyed blue, and the number of Perch that fall 
victims to his skill is wonderful. In three days 
in June 1869, he captured with the Paternoster 
at Great Marlow 312 Perch, the largest weighing 
2| lbs., and several over a pound. 

To use the Paternoster, fasten the loop to the 
running-line as usual, and bait with very small 
gudgeons or large minnows, varying them with 
marsh or red-worms ; such as a marsh worm on 
the bottom hook, minnow or gudgeon on the 
middle, and red-worm at the top. Some prefer 
all minnows, hooked through the side of the lips. 
Commence by dropping in near the side of the 
river or pond, but if there is one place more likely 
than another, by all means try it first. Let the 
Paternoster sink till the lead touches the bottom, 
keeping the line rather tight to it. After a few 
minutes if you have no success work it towards 
you by raising the point of the rod and drawing 
in a yard or so of line slowly, still touching the 
bottom with the lead. When you have a touch, 




slacken your line and give him a minute or two before striking, 
which should be done rather sharply ; then play, and land 
him secundum artem. It is not an uncommon occurrence to 
take two at once with this tackle ; when well on the feed, 
you may have one on each hook at the same time. 

NOTHER killing way at times is by means of the 
Spinning-bait. In this manner I have taken some 
very large Perch in the Thames, using the same 
rod and tackle as recommended for Trout : gut 
traces properly shotted and small gut flights of 
hooks. I have also found the artificial minnow 
extremely killing. Close to the camp-sheeting at 
side of a weir and in the eddies or backwater at the 
foot of the spurs of it, are very desirable localities in which 
to use the Spinning-bait ; mind, however, that the under- 
current does not carry the bait down too deep, causing it to 
foul the sill of the weir. I have had good sport in this way 
when sitting on the corner of a weir spinning for Trout ; I 
have observed a shoal of Perch working their way up after 
Bleak and other small baits, among the rocks on the shallow 
below a tumbling bay (lying between the end of the weir 
and the shore), and over which there was not quite so much 
rough water as usual. Proceeding cautiously to work with- 
out moving from my position, I dropped the Spinning-bait 
lightly in front of one fine old fellow, who seeing the 
glittering temptation, pounced on it and was off into the deep 
in a moment. "With the assistance of my puntman, who 
descended one of the spurs of the weir with the landing-net, 
I soon had him in the well of the punt, together with about 
a score of the largest of his companions, who fell victims one 
after the other to their insatiable predatory disposition. 

For a description of the manner of throwing the Spinning- 
bait, and the various minutiae of putting on baits, as well as 


the various kinds of artificial baits, I must refer the reader to 
Chapter III., in which they will be found described as fully 
as possible. A sketch of the " Fishing Gazette Spoon " is given 
on the preceding page ; it is a good bait for Perch, Trout, etc. 

Large Perch are also taken when live-baiting 'for Pike with 
small Dace, etc. ; for a description of which see Chapter IY 
Use a gut trace, and hooks tied on fine gimp. The Live- 
Bait-Snap sketched at page 50, made of a small size, will be 
found extremely useful. 

Perch are also occasionally taken with a bushy Red Palmer 
or other bright-coloured flies. 

^0\ HE easiest way of Perch-fishing is with the float ; 
this may be either cork, reed, or quill. The first 
is the best; have it as small as possible, with 
due regard to the amount of current in the stream 
you are going to fish ; a three yard gut line, 
stained blue, and a No. 6 hook. Bait with a 
"43^- marsh worm or minnow ; the latter may be hooked 
through the back fin or through the lip ; and fish a 
foot from the bottom at least. The depth of the water may 
be ascertained sufficiently near for the purpose without a 
plummet, by setting the float at what you consider the 
average depth ; on trying it, if the float swims properly, 
set it deeper, and so on till the float rises a little or lays on 
one side, which it will do as soon as the shots touch the 
ground ; when it does so, about a foot less will be the depth 
of the water ; that being about the distance from the shots 
to the hook. When you see a bite, give time, and allow the 
float to go well under before you strike. 

INKING- and drawing for Perch, as it is termed, is 
practised without a float, and with two or three 
shots on the gut line to sink the bait : which should 
be a marsh worm, or two bright red-worms. The 
bait is dropped into holes and eddies, among the 
roots of trees growing in the water, or close to the 
piles, etc. ; let it sink nearly to the bottom, then 











-J u 
(0 m 


q: ul 
< - 







draw it up gradually, and so on, sinking and drawing up till 
you feel a bite, when proceed as already directed. 

HE Pope or Ruffe is much like the Perch in habits 
and shape, also in the first dorsal-fin, whicb it 
erects, when alarmed, in a similar manner. The 
body is thickly spotted with small dark spots, 
and the tail and tail end of body is shaped and 
spotted in the same manner as a Gudgeon. 
They are occasionally taken in the Thames when 
fishing for Gudgeon ; spawning about April, and 
seldom growing longer than six inches. Use a small hook, 
and bait with a red-worm. 

Chapter VII. 


HE Barbel, when well grown and in season, is a 
very handsome, noble-looking fish, of a golden 
olive brown on the back, and a silvery white 
belly. The scales are placed in very exact order; 
the fins are of a pinky colour except the dorsal 
one, which is darker, as is also the tail, being 
tinged with purple and of a forked shape, the upper 
part being curved over to a sbarp point, and very 
strong ; with this it is able to defend itself and often to break 
the tackle. Barbel occasionally attain a weight of from 
eighteen to twenty pounds, but these are very rare occur- 
rences, and one of twelve pounds is considered very large. 
The head is somewhat pointed, with sharp cunning eyes and 
four wattles or barbs under the mouth, from which he is 


supposed to take his name. The mouth is situated under- 
neath, enabling him to suck the worm from the ground ; the 
lips consist of a fleshy substance, which he can contract or 
protrude at pleasure, the teeth being in the throat. 

They spawn in April and May ; the best months in which 
to angle for them being July, August, and September. Their 
general haunt is in the deep part of rapid streams. At the 
end of scouers in mill ponds, and under overhanging banks, 
they may be seen during the summer routing up the sand 
and gravel with their noses like pigs. Ephemera justly re- 
marks that he is "a lazy, wallowing gentleman, and the 
Launcelot Gobbo of the subaqueous pantries and cellars. 
The sound of the smacking of his lips tells you how fond 
he is of a good morsel. He acknowledges its receipt by the 
best music he can make, and yet what a shame it is that 
food should be thrown away upon him. So it is, however, 
and let him swallow good things ever so swiftly, let him be 
worm or gentle crammed, his flesh is never the better for it. 
His great angling value is his obstinacy, which gives him 
strength notwithstanding the morbid appearance of the 
muscles ; and he will resist your efforts to tow him out of 
the water with exciting energy. His large fins give him 
great power when in the water, and he works heavily with 
them to get away when hooked, making them tread and beat 
the water like the paddles of a slow steamer." 

. HE rod used for Float-fishing for Barbel should 
be stiff and light, about thirteen feet long, of 
mottled cane, with an extra top to shorten it 
about two feet for Leger fishing, which requires 
a stronger rod. The line should be of the finest 
prepared plaited silk, about eighty or a hundred 
yards in length, for float-fishing, but should not be so 
fine to usg with a Leger. The Winch may be either 
wood, brass, or bronze. It must be understood here, that 
when I mention float-fishing for Barbel, I refer more particu- 
larly to that with the running float, known as the " Traveller." 
These floats are made of cork, long and thin ; of various 


lengths, to carry from a dozen to forty shots ; and are fitted 
with a small ring at each end bent down at right angles with 
the float. Through these rings the line passes, the float 
running or travelling loose on the line ; hence its name. To 
use it : select a steady swim with a tolerably even bottom, 
free from large stones or other obstructions. There are 
several swims in the Thames, where I have worked the 
"Traveller" successfully, quite fifty yards down the river. 
One of the best of these swims is in the neighbourhood of 
Great Marlow. I remember well fishing it with a friend in 
July 1856, and rather astonishing sundry Piscators who 
were using the Leger line from the bank, without having so 
much as a nibble among them all. In a day and a half we 
landed very nearly three hundredweight of Barbel, some 
Perch and Dace, and, though last, not least, a fine Trout 
weighing five pounds. We should have taken more, but in 
consequence of the mill stopping, the water was lowered 
considerably in depth, and the current was- so slow that, 
comparatively speaking, it was dead water. Three of the 
Barbel were over nine pounds each ; many of the smaller ones 
we returned to their native element, apparently none the 
worse for their trip to the higher regions. We were fishing 
from a punt anchored lengthways in the stream, and hooked 
several of the best fish upwards of forty yards from the punt. 
The " Traveller " is used thus : — the gut-hook, size No. 2, 
is fastened to the gut-line by a small swivel, to give the 
worm free play. The bottom shot should be about a foot 
from the hook, then five or six large Swan Shot, and instead 
of a long string of shot above these, it is preferable to use 
two or three small dip-leads to increase the weight. The 
running line being now passed through the rings of the float, 
is fastened to the gut bottom thus prepared ; the line should 
be sufficiently weighted to show quite an inch of the top of 
the float ; otherwise you will not be able to see it a long 
distance off. After plumbing the depth, which can be easily 
accomplished by making a half-hitch round the top of the 
float to fasten the line while the operation of plumbing is 
performed, remove the half-hitch and plummet, and make 
a slip-knot in the line about two inches above the top 


of the float, inserting a double piece of stout gut sufficiently 
long to project half-an-inch on either side of the knot ; now 
draw this latter tight, and there will be a sufficient impedi- 
ment created by the projecting pieces of gut to prevent the 
float rising on the line higher than required for the depth of 
water. It must be obvious that this is a most useful style 
of fishing in deep water, rendering it easy to fish a deep 
swim of twenty feet, for although the gut offers resistance 
enough to the float to keep the bait at the required depth, 
still it is sufficiently limp, when wet, to draw through the 
rings of the rod ; so as to allow the fish to be brought within 
manageable distance. The float meanwhile being loose on 
the line, drops down on the shots. After the fish is landed 
and a fresh worm put on, slack the line and the float regains 
its original depth ; the weight of the shots carrying the line 
rapidly through the rings on the float, until it reaches the 
gut-stop. Thus I have easily fished a twenty feet hole with 
a rod of twelve feet, which I certainly could not have done 
so comfortably had I used a fixed float. A sketch of the 
" Traveller " is annexed, showing the gut " stop " knotted in 
the line. 

To fish a Barbel swim successfully, it should be well 
ground-baited the previous day with lobworms. If it is an 
eddy or almost dead-water, these may be thrown in without 
mixing with anything else, but if there is much stream, the 
greater portion should be made into clay balls, thus : — take 
some clay (which may be generally found in the river bank) 
and working it into large balls, press a good-sized hole in 
each, fill with worms and stop it up tightly. Throw these 
towards the head of the swim ; the worms working out are 
sure to be carried far enough down by the stream, whereas if 
thrown in without clay, as some writers recommend, they 
would soon be washed anywhere but where you wanted them. 

The following day, when you commence fishing throw in 
about twenty or thirty lobs (each being cut into about four 
pieces) sufficiently above where you fish to allow the stream 
to work them down the swim. Eemember that the bait 
should always be in advance of the float, and as little line as 
possible in the water between it and the top of the rod. It 


must be evident, that when the float is swimming first and 
dragging the bait after it, the shot must come first against 
the nose of the Barbel ; and even if he should see the bait, 
he has to take the trouble to turn round and swim after it ; 
not only disturbing his own equanimity, but probably up- 
setting the little domestic arrangements of some other greedy 
old epicure, who, had you not interfered with the first old 
gentleman, would have remained very quietly sucking in the 
juicy little morsels like a city magnate over his turtle, till a 
fine luscious lob sailed stately down towards him ; he would 
then gently have opened his leathery mouth and allowed it 
quietly to glide in ; discovering, to his sorrow, when you 
proceed to disturb his balmy reveries abruptly with a sudden 
jerk, that " all is not gold that glitters." Therefore to 
prevent any such unfortunate contretemps, and to ensure a 
good day's sport as far as lies in your power, proceed in a 
careful manner. Should you be fishing from a punt, with 
the wind blowing slightly up-stream, your task will be so 
much the more easy. By raising the top of the rod and 
allowing the line to run out slowly, you keep it as taut as 
possible to the float, which will then point up-stream ; while 
the tackle will swim in advance of it, the bait naturally 
being first. When the wind is blowing down the river, the 
stream at the top is impelled faster than the stream at the 
bottom, and the float must be managed accordingly ; if fish- 
ing from the bank, not keeping the line so tight as to drag 
the float out of the swim. After a few fish have been taken, 
throw in some more chopped worms, but not too many ; and 
be particular to calculate as near as possible, when you throw 
in the first instalment of worms, what distance they will be 
carried by the stream before they reach the bottom. Do not 
spread them about, but draw the fish as much to one part of 
the swim as you can. If the water is very clear it will be 
better to keep them ten or fifteen yards below you ; they 
will bite better and for a longer time by being kept at a 
distance. Strike directly the float goes down and play your 
fish carefully, so as not to disturb his late companions in the 
swim ; proceeding in this manner and throwing in a few 
chopped worms occasionally, to keep the Barbel together, 


success is certain. Always, of course, providing that the 
place has been ground-baited the previous day, and that you 
do not overdo it while fishing. It must be evident that as 
each fish can only eat a certain quantity, by throwing in too 
much at once you probably satisfy the greater portion and 
then wonder why they will not feed, when your bait is 
rendered almost invisible by the cloud of worms you have 
sent in. But throw in about twenty chopped small, and there 
will probably be a scramble amongst the shoal attracted 
by the prospects of an El Dorado of lobworms ; prospects 
which your large deposit of ground-bait of the previous day 
would seem to warrant. What are eighty little bits among 
a shoal of Barbel waiting for a fresh banquet ? Presently, 
down comes a bonne-bouche in the shape of your bait ; it is 
immediately pounced on by an unsuspecting gourmand, who, 
to the astonishment of his confreres, immediately departs in 
an extraordinary manner for the upper world. Another goes 
in like manner, and so on through the shoal, a very few 
chopped worms serving to whet their appetite ; until the 
few that remain have been rendered too shy by the con- 
tinued hooking and disappearing of their friends. 

Making due allowance for the lightness of the tackle, be 
particular to strike hard enough ; the mouth of a Barbel 
being very leathery, a sharp jerk is required to fix the hook 
firm. Lose a fish and you disturb the swim, and unless 
they are very strongly on the feed, they will take a little 
time to recover from their fright. 

HE Leger is very good when the water is coloured, 
or if you are fishing ground of too uneven a nature 
for the float; such as the side of a tumbling-bay or 
similar place. It is made in the following manner : 
— a long-shanked No. 1 gut-hook is attached to 
the leger line, the bottom part of which is composed 
of two pieces of gut, so as to leave the bait about a 
yard below the bullet ; at the upper end of the gut is 
a small swivel, above which is a foot of yellow gimp, on 
which the bullet runs, a drilled shot being on the gimp next 











the swivel to act as a stop to the bullet. Many Barbel 
fishers use a leger-hook of this description : — about two 
inches from the end of the shank of a No. 1 gut-hook, a 
small lip-hook is whipped on the gut ; when the lob-worm 
is threaded on the larger hook, the worm is drawn up the 
gut and the head is placed on the small hook. When 
legering, many Barbel take the head of the worm, and I 
have caught numbers with the small hook which I should 
probably have missed had I not used that useful little addi' 
tion ; the worm also is kept much straighter than when 
without it. 

To use the Leger, we will suppose that the place has been 
well ground-baited as before described. If you are fishing 
from the bank, throw the Leger lightly and steadily a little 
across and down the stream, as near as you can to where 
you suppose the ground-bait has collected. Lower the point 
of the rod, holding it in such a manner as to keep the line 
taut, so as to be able to feel the slightest bite ; and remain 
perfectly quiet. The bite of a Barbel at a Leger may per^ 
haps be best described as a double knock, two distinct 
little jerks directly following each other, and requiring an 
instantaneous strike in reply. 

If you do not have a bite in ten minutes or so, draw up 
and make a fresh throw, longer or shorter, according to 
circumstances, but always in the direction of the ground- 
bait ; first examining the bait to see if some part of the hook 
may not be exposed. 

I have practised this style of fishing with great success in 
parts of the Thames where it would have been extremely 
difficult to use a "Traveller." owing to the rough state of the 
bottom ; but where, nevertheless, I picked up some heavy 
Barbel with the Leger ; ground-baiting with the clay balls. 

Greaves is sometimes a good bait, and may be used 
either with float or Leger ; in either case the stream should 
be slow, to allow the bait to lie on the bottom. Greaves 
should first be broken in pieces with a hammer, and requires 
soaking some time in water ; some recommend that it should 
be boiled a short time, constantly stirring it,to prevent it 
burning. To bait with it, select the whitest, and put four 



or five small pieces or a long narrow strip on the hook, so as 
to cover the bend up to the point ; the hook should be 
smaller than that used with a worm. Ground-bait with the 
rougher pieces, but use very little. 

Cheese is used in a similar manner. The stream must be 
very slow ; before you commence, throw in several pieces 
cut to the shape of dice for ground-bait. It is used in the 
following style with the ordinary fixed float : plumb the 
depth, setting the float about two feet deeper, so that the 
bait and shots may lie on the bottom straight down the 
stream, and then proceed the same as for legering ; the float 
will show the bite. 

Barbel are also angled for, with the ordinary fine roach 
tackle, baiting with gentles ; and are sometimes taken of 
great weight. They are frequently caught foul when fishing 
with the Leger, through swimming over the line : the angler 
supposing it to be a bite, strikes, and often hooks the fish. 
They are also often caught early in the season when spinning 
from the weirs for Trout. I have often been disappointed 
after playing for a quarter of an hour what appeared to be a 
good Trout, to find that it was only a Barbel. Mr. Hughes 
caught one weighing nearly 141bs. in May 1880 with a 
" BelVs Life Spinner," and had the pleasure of returning it 
to the water, as it was caught in the close-time. 

;F Bream, there are two sorts, the Silver Bream and 
the Gold or Carp Bream ; the first of these 
gradually loses its brilliancy after it exceeds the 
weight of a pound, and becomes of a dark smoky 
hue ; this being the common one most found in 
ponds and deep rivers. The Bream is a very 
broad, flat fish, the head and mouth small, the 
eyes large, and the tail exceedingly forked. It spawns 
towards the latter end ©f May ; the best months for angling 
for them being from July to October, in deeps where there 
is a clayey or sandy bottom. I have known the Bream to 
attain a weight of eight pounds. Blakey says that in the 


north of Europe they reach twenty pounds, but I fancy these 
giants are somewhat apocryphal. The best baits are lob, 
marsh, and red-worms, gentles, paste, and greaves. The 
rods and tackle have been described in the remarks on 
Barbel. The place you intend fishing should be well ground- 
baited the day previous; if you intend using the "travelling " 
float, it would be better at the same time to ascertain the 
proper depth of the swim ; it will save time and trouble, 
and prevent you disturbing the fish the following day when 
you commence angling. Allow the bait to swim close to the 
bottom, strike directly you perceive a bite (the float often 
rising up instead of going down), and proceed as directed 
when Barbel-fishing. Bream-fishing in still water is pursued 
in a similar manner. Early in the morning and late in the 
evening are usually the best times. Indeed, one enthusiastic 
sportsman of my acquaintance camped out in a tent on the 
banks of the Ouse for several nights in succession, so as to 
be at work with the rod sufliciently early each morning ; this, 
of course, was going rather to the extreme. I have had 
extremely good sport in the middle of the day. Walton-on- 
Thames is a noted station for Bream, large quantities being 
taken every season. I have also landed some very fine ones 
at Weybridge ; at Haliday's Hole I caught sixteen weighing 
from two to six pounds each, in a couple of hours, with the 
Leger and lob-worm. 

The Bream is also taken with Roach-tackle, but requires 
some care in playing. He will try a variety of schemes to 
get away ; he will often turn su^ and hang to the bottom 
for some time, then make a bolt under a bank or into the 
weeds if any should be near. If that does not succeed he 
will come up sideways, requiring some strain on the tackle 
to lift him, the great resistance to the water offered by his 
broad side causing the novice to believe that he has hooked 
a monster of the deep. When he rises near the surface, he 
turns over edgeways, the resistance is over, and behold it is 
but a Bream ! 


Chaptee VIII. 


HE Carp is a beautiful fish in appearance, of a 
bronzy gold colour, with large scales, and having 
two wattles under the mouth, which is of small 
size. The fins and tail are of a dark hue, the 
dorsal fin extending over the greater portion of 
the back. Carp spawn about May, and are best 
caught from July to September ; they have been 
taken in the Thames in January when the weather 
has been very fine. They prefer lakes and ponds to rivers ; 
in some they grow to a large size. Salter mentions one he 
saw taken from the pond in Wanstead Park, facing Tilney 
House, this he says appeared much wasted from age, but 
weighed then eighteen pounds. In Germany they attain a 
still larger size ; November 1878, the Fishing Gazette noticed 
a Carp weighing 40 lbs. and three feet in length, which was 
caught near Schwabach in Bavaria, and was presented to the 
Zoological Gardens, Frankfort. There is also mention made 
in The Field of February 16th, 1878, of a Carp, 40 inches in 
length and 26 inches in girth, weighing 31 lbs., which was 
caught in the Paris district of the Seine ; but I do not 
remember to have seen one in England that exceeded six- 
teen lbs. They are an extremely shy fish, especially the 
larger ones, who seem to increase in craftiness as they do in 
weight and years. There is, however, no rule without an 
exception, for I have observed some splendid fellows in the 
ponds of the Palace Gardens at Versailles, who appeared to 
be perfectly tame, probably owing to being fed with bread- 
crumbs by visitors. Until within the last few years they 
have not been numerous in the Thames ; though I know of 
a few artful old Carp who inhabit a certain deep pool at 


Weybridge, who appear to glory in their extreme wisdom, 
and will roll over the line, and appear to bid defiance to the 
angler. Late in the month of July 1858, on a hot summer's 
afternoon, I was Barbel-fishing in the eddy off Ham Point, 
Weybridge, the water being quite twenty feet deep and as 
clear as glass. I did not so much as touch a Barbel, but 
took with my single rod three magnificent Carp, weighing 
respectively eight, five, and four pounds ; ten Eels, nine 
large Perch, and one Bream ; the Carp gave quite as much 
play as Trout. These were all taken with the lob-worm, 
using chopped worms for ground-bait. 

As a general rule, the red-worm will be found the most 
killing bait, but they will at times prefer a- well-scoured 
marsh-worm or lob. The majority of Boaeh-baits also are 
used for Carp. 

Use a light stiff rod with fine running tackle and a light 
float, ascertaining the depth, if possible, the day before, when 
ground-baiting, as recommended in the preceding Chapter, 
so as to keep out of sight when you commence fishing, and 
disturb the water as little as you can. Throw in a few 
chopped worms occasionally while angling, fish on the 
bottom, and if in a stream strike immediately there is a bite ; 
but if in still water, or a pond, wait a second or two, till the 
float goes steadily under, and then strike gently, as Carp do 
not take the bait so quickly in dead water as in a stream, 
where, unless it be taken directly, it is carried away by the 
current and is gone. 

When you have hooked a good fish use him gently and 
patiently ; giving him line, winding in and letting out, till 
he is exhausted. He is an exceedingly strong and artful fish, 
and will try every possible means to get round a post or a 
stump, or into the weeds, so as to break the line. 

The grand secret in Carp-fishing is to keep quiet and fish 
fine. Some anglers expatiate on the great merits of boiled 
green peas and pieces of cherries, as very taking baits. One 
writer advises a worm and gentle to be used on the hook at 
the same time, so as to offer the Carp a choice of baits ; 
probably, had he suggested that a green pea and a cherry be 
first placed on the hook, it might have been better still ; the 


Carp could then have taken vegetables with his dinner and 
dessert to follow. 

There is another species of this fish, termed the Prussian 
Carp, which seldom reaches a pound in weight ; in shape 
and colour it is similar to the ordinary Carp, partaking very- 
much of the nature of the gold and silver fish, and like them 
may be kept, when small, in a globe. They are easily caught 
in ponds during the summer months with a small red or 
blood-worm ; fish very fine, with a No. 10 hook and a very 
small quill float. It is essential that the bait should cover 
the entire hook and look fresh and tempting. Fish two or 
three inches from the bottom. 

^E Tench is not so handsome a fish as the Carp ; 
it is short and thick, and when large nearly as 
broad as long. The fins and tail are large, and 
of a purple hue ; the scales are extremely small, 
of a dark greenish gold colour, and covered 
with a thick slimy matter. The Tench is a pond 
fish, thriving best in water where the bottom is 
weedy and muddy ; it is also found in rivers of a 
similar character, and is taken occasionally in some parts of 
the Thames and Lea ; spawning in May and June, and being 
very soon in good condition. From July to October are the 
best months ; though if the weather be very warm, they are 
sometimes taken in March. During the winter they bury 
themselves in the mud like Eels. In favourable situations 
they have been known to attain a weight of nine pounds ; 
but this is of rare occurrence in this country, and they will 
be seldom found to exceed four pounds, although they grow 
fast. Tench, like Carp, are exceedingly tenacious of life, 
and when packed in wet grass or moss may be carried long 
distances without danger of losing their lives. 

A clear red-worm or small lob-worm will be found the 
best bait ; wasp-grubs, gentles, and paste are also used. 
Tench require ground-baiting in a similar manner to Barbel. 
A light stiff rod, with running tackle, should be used, and 
if fishing in a pond, a small quill float, and a No. 8 hook 


















with a red- worm, or a size smaller for gentle or wasp-grub ; 
if the bottom is very muddy, fish an inch or two from it. 

Although the Tench is not a particularly shy fish, yet he 
bites slower than most others, sometimes remaining with the 
bait between his lips for a short time before taking it into 
his mouth ; therefore do not strike directly, but let him take 
the float well down, or, as he will often do, rise with the 
bait, and cause the float to lay flat on the surface. When 
this occurs, strike smartly, but not too hard, playing him 
carefully, so as to keep clear of the weeds. 

In summer they may often be seen near the surface of the 
water, among the weeds and lily leaves, when they may be 
taken by dropping the bait into any little opening you may 
observe among the weeds. Fish with a stouter line and 
without a float, with a shot or two about a foot from the 
hook to sink the bait sufficiently. When you feel or see a 
bite, strike sharply and land your prize as soon as possible, 
for in places of this description there will not be much Jspace 
for playing. 

Chapter IX. 


LTHOUGH the Chub is not mueh prized for the 
table, still it is a handsome-looking fish when in 
full season and fresh caught. Being a bold biting 
fish, struggling gamely, it affords the angler much 
amusement ; taking the bait from July till March ; 
either at the top of the water with large flies, 
insects, moths, and palmers, or at the bottom with 

cheese, or the pith from the backbone of a bullock. 
I have also taken very large Chub with the head of a lob- 

72 CHUB. 

worm, or a slug cut down the belly so as to show the white 
inside, using them like a fly, early in the morning ; the 
splash the bait made on entering the water appearing pecu- 
liarly attractive. Chub spawn about May, and do not thrive 
well in stagnant ponds, though they do in ponds fed by a 
running stream, provided there are weeds that give harbour 
for the breed of insects. They delight in still holes beneath 
overhanging bushes or roots, the sides of tumbling bays, etc., 
in rivers, retiring during the winter to deeper holes, pre- 
ferring at all times a gravelly bottom. When small, they 
are extremely like the Dace in colour and appearance, except 
that the tail and dorsal fin are much darker than those of 
the Dace, the point of the tail being nearly black ; the mouth 
and head also are much broader. I have taken with a very 
large black fly (called a " Marlow Crow") Chub in the 
Thames above Marlow, weighing six pounds and a half; and 
in some parts they grow to eight pounds ; in 1874 a Chub, 
weight eight pounds and a quarter, was caught at Twicken- 
ham. A large Alder^fly, made with a thick peacock-heii 
body and brown wings, also a full-sized " Coachman," which 
is a similar fly but with white wings, are very successful. 

IBBING- for Chub with a live Cockchafer or Beetle 
is very successful ; the horny covering of the 
wings should be removed. The Humble Bee and 
Grasshopper are also good baits for dibbing during 
the day, and a large white or brown Moth late in 
the evening. It is necessary in this style of fish- 
ing to hide as much as possible from the sight of 
the fish, behind a tree or bush. Use a stiffish 
rod, drawing off as much line as will just allow the bait to 
reach the water. If you are fishing through bushes, twist 
all the line between the point of the rod and the bait round 
the top ; and, passing it through the bushes, untwist the 
line ; with proper management the bait will fall naturally 
and gently on the surface of the water. Where there are 
wide leaves on the water, it is as well to drop the bait on 

*if .•* 


£ mrrv J%£ ] 







CHUB. 73 

each one in succession, allowing it to roll in from each. 
Chub, in the summer at midday, often lie concealed under 
such leaves, ready to take any insect that drops off. If you 
see any fish, cautiously guide the bait towards the largest. 
When there are no trees, bushes, or similar obstructions on 
the bank from which you are fishing, the winch-line should 
be of stout floss silk, and is technically termed a "blow 
line ; " to this add a yard or two of gut with the hook length 
attached. Stand with the wind at your back ; hold the 
insect-bait lightly between the forefinger and thumb of the 
left hand ; and letting out as much blow line as may be 
required, let go the hook, and the bait will be carried by the 
wind the requisite distance across the water. The rod for 
this style of fishing should not be less than twelve feet in 
length, and lighter than for ordinary dibbing. Observe to 
keep the blow line as dry as possible, or it will be too heavy 
if wet. 

They are taken during the summer with the ordinary fly 
rod, using red, brown, or black palmers, etc. ; in some parts 
of the Thames a large black artificial caterpillar is very 

I have also taken some very fine Chub with the Spinning- 
bait when fishing for Trout and Perch early in the season. 
Towards the latter end of spring, angling with a live minnow 
or small frog is sometimes very successful. 

^HE best time to angle with bullock's pith and 
brains is from November till March. To prepare 
them for use, take the skin from the brains, 
washing in fresh water two or three times to 
clear them from blood, and until they become 
white ; the outside skin of the pith of the back- 
bone is very thick and tough ; this must be carefully 
slit with scissors (so as not to tear the under skin), 
and removed. When this operation is completed, slit the 
under-skin in like manner from end to end of the piece, and 
open it so as to lay it fiat ; there will then be skin on one 
side and none on the other. The skin is to bind it to the 

74 CHUB. 

hook. Wash clean, boil the pith and brains a minute or two, 
and they are ready for use. 

The Eod should be light, and about twelve feet long f 
used from the bank, but may be shorter to use from a punt : 
with forty or fifty yards of fine prepared plaited silk line on 
a suitable winch. The bottom tackle should be composed of 
three yards of fine gut line, a No. 5 hook, and a quill float 
of proportionate size to the amount of stream in the swim ; 
using as small a one as possible. Choose a gentle swim 
about six feet deep, where there are willow bushes over- 
hanging the water ; plumb the depth and fish an inch from 
the bottom, baiting with the pith, and using the brains as 
ground-bait. Strike directly you see a bite, and handle 
your fish carefully ; if a large one, it will probably rush 
furiously to the opposite side of the river directly it is 
hooked ; give plenty of line, unless he is going to dangerous 
quarters ; put on a little strain ; and after his first or second 
effort, and a few plunges, you may venture to bring him to 
the landing-net. 

The usual method of ground-baiting with brains is by 
chewing and then blowing them into the water ; but as 
many anglers object to this, they may proceed in this 
manner : — take a quantity of brains, either bullock's or 
sheep's, clean them as before described, and pound them 
in a mortar, mixing afterwards with house-sand and a little 
bran. Throw into the water in small quantities occasionally 
whilst angling. If pith and brains cannot be procured, bait 
with the whitest greaves, or paste made of bread, old cheese, 
and honey. 


Chapter X 


HE Roach is, in appearance, a handsome fish 
when in season, though, perhaps, one of the 
coarsest of the finny tribe as far as eating is 
concerned. It affords good sport, and requires 
some amount of skill to catch ; although by some 
writers it is termed the " water sheep," and 
easily to be taken : but in reality it requires a quick 
eye, fine tackle, and a steady hand and much practice, 
before any one can pretend to be a good Roach Angler. 

Roach spawn in April and May, during which time the 
scales are very rough, the fish being sickly and keeping 
5 among the weeds on which they feed, as well as on the 
insects found thereon. They are in good season from July 
till March, but the winter months are generally the best for 
angling for them, especially after a flood when the water is 
recovering ; the larger ones have then left the weeds, and 
remain in the deep water, and not having so much living 
food about them, will more readily take the bait. Their 
scales are then very smooth and large, of a dark bluish 
green colour on the back, lightening into a bright silver 
nearer the belly ; the under fins are a bright red ; the back 
fin and tail of a dusky red, tinged somewhat with purple. 
They are seldom taken heavier than two pounds, though I 
have taken them in the Thames weighing two pounds and a 
half; and have known them to reach three pounds, but these 
leviathans are very scarce. 

One great desideratum in Roach-fishing is that the angler 
should know something of the water that he intends to fish ; 
and then to choose a swim where he can fish with comfort, 
according to the state in which the water may be at the 
time. Roach do not approve of very rough water, but are 


more generally found in steady swims of a moderate depth 
and with a sandy or gravelly bottom. When angling in 
rivers, choose if possible a swim that is rather shallower at 
the end, because when the ground-bait separates, the prin- 
cipal portion lodges there, and consequently keeps the fish 
together in a better manner than it would do if the swim 
was not so conveniently adapted to retain it, but allowed it 
to be entirely washed away by the action of the stream. It 
is also by the judicious use of ground-bait, and fishing at 
the proper depth, that one angler will be more successful 
than another, who may be using the same description of 
bait, the same quality of tackle, and fishing at a very short 
distance from the first one, though not with the like success. 
One of the most clean and simple ground-baits, and at the 
same time one with which I have had the best sport, is made 
of bread and bran : the crust of a quartern loaf being cut 
off, soak the crumb in water till it is well saturated, squeeze 
it nearly dry, then placing it in a pan or similar receptacle, 
add the bran by handfuls, kneading it well together until 
the whole is almost as stiff as clay. This requires some 
little time to make, but will amply repay the angler for his 
trouble. In rivers like the Thames, when fishing from a 
punt, the ground-bait should be worked into balls about the 
size of a moderately large turnip, and if there is much stream 
will probably require some clay mixed with it to increase the 
weight and bind it together ; or the insertion of a stone is 
sometimes requisite, so as to ensure it sinking instantly at 
the head of the swim when dropped over the side of the 
punt. In ponds and small rivers the ground-bait balls 
should be used smaller. An excellent addition to this 
description of ground-bait (although many object on account 
of the scent) is a quantity of carrion gentles ; after the 
bread and bran are well mixed with some clay and formed 
into balls, press a hole in each with the finger, and before 
throwing the ball into the swim, fill the hole in the ground- 
bait with gentles and close it tightly. In eddies and still 
waters a handful of carrion gentles alone thrown in are very 
useful ; but if there is much stream, it is evident that the 
gentles, being light,, must be carried away directly they reach 


the water ; whereas if they are worked into the ball, this 
sinks directly, and they then find their way out gradually 
and keep the fish about the swim. Potatoes are also used 
for ground-bait ; they should be boiled till soft, and gently 
squeezed before being thrown into the swim. At times, 
when the water has been very clear, good sport has been 
obtained by raking the bed of the river at the head of the 
swim ; or, if punt-fishing, by raking above the upper side of 
the punt, up-stream, so as to colour the water in a similar 
manner to that required for gudgeon-fishing. 

HE Rod used for Roach-fishing from the bank 
should be from sixteen to twenty feet in length, 
of light and stiff cane, sharp in the strike, and 
not ringed ; if it is to be used from a punt, 
should possess the same qualities, but should be 
from ten to eleven feet only. For a rod of this 
latter description it is safer to have rings, tolerably 
close together (so as not to allow the line to hang too 
loosely from the rod), as it not unfrequently happens that a 
Barbel makes his appearance in the swim, when, unless the 
angler is provided with running-tackle, he stands a very fair 
chance of losing his fish. The running-line should be the 
very finest plaited silk (prepared with india-rubber dressing), 
and should be from thirty to forty yards long, on a small 
check winch ; or if the angler chooses, a plain winch. 

In the Lea, however, the true Roach fisher scorns rings to 
his rod, and trusts to his skill alone to enable him to land 
safely his finny prize. Most Lea-fishers keep an inch or two 
of fine silk line tied to the end of the top-joint, and fasten 
the gut or hair line to the silk by means of a draw-loop knot ; 
this is a better plan than fastening the line directly to the 
rod, as the latter is apt to chafe the gut or hair. The Roach- 
line should be of the very finest blue gut, in length about 
three yards, although many prefer the same length of horse- 
hair ; this however is becoming rapidly superseded by the 
extra-fine gut, which besides being less than half the sub- 
stance, possesses five or six times the strength. 


The size of the Hooks varies considerably, some experi- 
enced anglers using them as large as No. 6, whilst others never 
use anything larger than No. 11 ; a medium size, about No. 
9, will generally be found the most useful. As regards shape, 
this is very much a matter of fancy, the very fine round bent 
hooks requiring great care in use, as it is impossible for them 
to have very much barb, and the skin of a Roach's mouth 
being very tender, the fine wire is apt to work out or cut its 
way through if the fish is large and gives much play ; they 
are, however, much used by those anglers who prefer fishing 
with hair, whilst those who use fine gut generally prefer the 
bright sneck, a short square-shaped hook, extremely sharp, 
with a good barb. 

The best and neatest Float is the taper quill ; though, for 
rough work, a very thin cork is very useful. Roach floats 
are of all sizes, from those carrying half-a-dozen shots, to 
some for use in heavy water, and which require thirty shots 
or more. Observe, to shot the line so that a very small 
portion only of the tip of the float is left above water, for 
Roach frequently bite so very fine that without attending to 
this you will probably miss the chance of two bites out of 
three ; neither should the float be larger than is actually 
necessary, although it must be obvious that in fishing some 
of the deep swims in the Thames, where there is a strong 
steady current, unless the angler has a tolerably large string 
of shot his bait will not reach the bottom until it arrives at 
nearly the end of the swim ; therefore always match the 
size of the float as nearly as possible to the degree of the 
current in the river you intend to fish. 

Plumbing the depth is performed in the following manner: 
if using a roll plummet, as it is termed (which is simply a 
small roll of thin sheet lead about an inch wide), unroll 
about two inches from the end, lay the hook in, and roll up 
the plummet again ; your hook is then secured. This is not 
so good as using the ring plummet, the hook in this instance 
being passed through the ring, and the point inserted in the 
cork at the bottom of the plummet, which may be either 
taper like a sugar-loaf, or square ended. 

As success in Roach-fishing depends much upon angling at 


M "> 

L) _ 

a u. 






pPpPP p 

roundjBend sneck-bend 



the proper depth, take pains to ascertain the depth accurately 
before you commence fishing; when the plummet touches 
the bottom, and the tip of the float is even with the surface 
of the water, you have obtained the true depth. It is better 
when angling for Eoach or any other fish which require 
ground-bait, to allow the line to remain in the water with 
the plummet on the hook while you are casting in the 
ground-bait, so as to stretch and soften the line, and render 
it, consequently, less liable to break, as gut and hair will 
frequently do when dry and stiff. It is also a good plan to 
dip the line above the float occasionally in the water, for the 
same reason. Having discovered the correct depth, com- 
mence fishing with the bait almost touching the bottom ; if 
without success, alter the float so as to fish shallower, — that 
is, with the bait two or three inches from the ground; if still 
unsuccessful, vary the position of the float still more. During 
very warm weather Roach occasionally swim nearer the sur- 
face, and then sometimes take the bait better at midwater 
than at bottom ; but as that does not often occur later in the 
season, commence with the bait nearly touching the ground. 
They may also during the summer months be taken with a 
fly, using it below the surface and without a float ; put on 
one small shot to sink the bait, drawing it gently up and 
down till you feel a bite ; the Roach generally taking it as it 
approaches the surface. 

It often happens in Rivers, from opening the locks, alter- 
ing the run of water in the mills, and from various other 
causes, that the depth of the water is changed ; therefore if 
you have been enjoying good sport and it should suddenly 
cease (which it will probably do, if you have lost the proper 
depth), then try the depth again. 

The Baits are somewhat numerous — paste, liver-gentles, 
worms, creed malt, rice, etc. ; of these the two first are the 
best. In making the paste it is absolutely necessary that 
the hands should be very clean, otherwise the paste will be 
discoloured; take a piece of the crumb of a loaf the day after 
it is baked, dip lightly in water, immediately squeeze it as 
dry as possible, and placing it in the left hand, knead it with 
the thumb and fingers of the right, till it becomes exceedingly 


smooth and stiff. This is, when well made, the hest paste 
for Eoach, and they seldom refuse it at any time of the year. 
Many add a small quantity of honey ; in this case the bread 
will not require dipping in water. Some also prefer a pink 
paste ; this is made by mixing a small quantity of vermilion 
or red ochre with the one first mentioned. The Cadis is also 
a good bait, and should the angler be fishing any water where 
this bait is plentiful, at the time when it is leaving its shell, 
he will probably find that the Eoach will take nothing else, 
this being then their natural food. At other times a small 
redworm or a portion of the tail of a small lobworm will be 
found successful. Note, when using these, to ground-bait 
with a quantity of similar description of worm chopped up 
into small pieces, instead of the bread and bran, which 
should be used when paste is the bait ; in the same manner 
as the carrion gentles are added when liver-gentles are used 
on the hook ; the fish, as is often the case, appearing to 
judge from outward appearance only, and therefore preferring 
the well-fed aldermanic individual moving along in grand 
state on the hook, to the dirty canaille who are swept along 
with the stream. Yet, with Eoach, as with all other fish, 
the water may appear in good order, the wind in the right 
quarter, and everything else equally favourable, but the fish 
will not take the bait, let it be ever so tempting. The dis- 
appointed angler declares that "they are not on the feed," 
the simple fact being that by a natural instinct they appear 
to expect, at certain seasons of the year, and in certain 
conditions of the water, some particular natural food which 
is in the water ; whether in the shape of decomposed weeds, 
grubs, cadis, or other insects not easily to be discovered. 
To fish with one gentle, enter the point of the hook (which 
should be No. 10 or 11) near either end, bring it out at 
the other, drawing the point back again sufficiently to conceal 
it ; pursue a similar method with the first gentle, if using 
more than one, hooking the other through one end only. 
The bright red chrysalis of the gentle is a good addition, 
but, being somewhat tender, requires careful handling. I 
find the best way is to run the hook through from end to 
end, and let it cover the binding of the hook, hanging one or 


more live gentles on the hook, and letting them float wrig- 
gling down the swim ; this is irresistible. A larger hook, 
No. 8 or 9, is required for a worm ; to bait with which, enter 
the point of the hook near the head of the worm, which 
must be worked gently on to the hook with the thumb and 
finger of the left hand, while the right is gradually working 
the hook downwards ; a small lively piece of the tail may 
be left moving about, but if too much hangs loose, the fish 
may nibble, but will seldom take the whole in their mouths, 
and the angler will be annoyed by finding part of the worm 
gone, but that he has missed his fish. 

Always keep the top of the rod over the float, and suffi- 
ciently high to prevent any slack line touching the water, 
so as to strike lightly but quickly (the motion coming not 
from the arm but from the wrist) the moment you observe 
the least movement of the float, either by it being drawn 
under or thrown up a little. Do not strike too hard, for 
the Eoach, being a tender-mouthed fish, is hooked by a very 
slight jerk. 

When you have hooked a fish, raise the top of the rod and 
place a slight strain on him by lowering the butt ; by play- 
ing him thus he will soon be ready for the landing net, an 
article which will be found particularly useful if fishing from 
a high bank, or where the fish run large. When fishing 
from the bank with a twenty feet rod and a tight line, it will 
be necessary, of course, to remove the butt and large joint 
to bring the fish within reach of the net. 

HE Rudd is similar to the Roach in shape and 
colour, only that it is rather broader and the body 
and gills are tinged with a golden bronze. The 
under-fins and tail are a bright red. They seldom 
exceed a pound in weight, and thrive best in ponds 
and still waters with gravelly bottoms ; spawning 
about April. Angle for them at bottom the same 
as Roach ; with a fine gut or hair line, No. 9 or 
10 hook, and a light quill float. Bait with red 
worms, gentles, or paste ; ground-baiting as usual. 




HE Dace is a handsome shaped fish : the body 
long and of a bright silvery colour ; the scales 
and fins small, the latter being of a yellowish 
tinge. The largest I remember to have seen 
was taken in the Thames near Hampton, with a 
worm, and weighed exactly one pound. The 
river Colne is also noted for Dace of a large size, a 
great many being taken near West Drayton. 
They are a sharp biting fish, and therefore require striking 
quickly ; frequenting during the summer months shallows, 
rapids, and eddies, when they afford good sport to the inci- 
pient fly-fisher; indeed they are about the best fish to 
initiate him into the art and mystery of that science. The 

The Dace (Zeuoisous vulgaris). 

young angler will find capital sport during the fine summer 
evenings on the banks of the Thames, using the black gnat 
or golden palmer on the shallows about Isleworth, Twicken- 
ham, or Hampton, fishing from the towing path. The 
house-fly, red, black, and brown palmers, blue-duns, and 
gnats, are all killing flies for Dace, and may be rendered 
still more so by the addition of a gentle on the point of the 
hook, or, instead of a gentle, a thin strip of light yellow kid 
leather wound round the hook, from the tail of the fly nearly 
to the barb. 

In the autumn they retire into deeper water, and may be 
taken with the same rod and bottom-tackle as Boach ; the 
same baits also may be used. In summer they prefer the 
gentle ; in the autumn and winter, paste and worms. The 


best months are from July to December. Large Dace are 
often caught while fishing for Barbel late in the summer, 
with the tail of a lobworm ; when this occurs, it shows that 
they are beginning to feed lower down and to discontinue 
rising at the fly. In shallows of two or three feet in depth, 
such as lie in the angle of two streams or where a brook 
enters a river, or between the runs at a mill tail, where there 
is a kind of eddy or backwater, Dace are usually found 
waiting for any unlucky insects or worms that may be 
brought down the stream ; in such places work the bait 
from four to six inches from the bottom ; a small red worm 
will be found very killing. The same ground-baits mentioned 
for Roach are equally good for Dace, but it must be re- 
membered that when ground-baiting for Dace you are at the 
same time performing the same kind office for nearly every 
other description of fish, and you are just as likely to take 
Barbel, Roach, or Trout. As an instance I might mention 
that I was Dace-fishing early one morning a small stream in 
Kent, using the gentle, and fishing very fine with running 
tackle ; in a very short space ot time I landed two brace of 
Trout, each fish over a pound (a large size for the stream in 
question), several good sized Dace, a Perch, and some Gud- 
geons ; the only ground-bait I used was carrion-gentles, 
sprinkling a few in occasionally a yard or two above the 
swim, which was about five feet in depth ; the bottom line 
was the very finest gut, and the float a small taper quill 
carrying half-a-dozen small shots ; this was in the month of 
June ; the weather was extremely hot, and it was only for an 
hour or two early in the morning that there was a chance of 
doing anything. 

And here I must remind the young practitioner that 
although with Roach, Dace, and other fish which require 
ground bait, this is necessary to draw the surrounding fish 
kito the swim, yet it must be used with judgment ; not 
throwing in at once a sufficient quantity to satiate all the 
fish for half a mile down the water, but just sufficient to 
bring them into the swim ; and as long as they continue on 
the feed, a very small quantity thrown in at intervals will 
suffice to keep the shoal together. 


The best plan is to ground-bait the place overnight if 
possible, with a similar description of bait to that you pur- 
pose using the following day ; if you intend fishing with 
gentles, use the bread, bran, and carrions, mixed with a 
little clay ; if with worms, then a couple of hundred or 
more worms should be chopped small and thrown in a few 
yards above where you intend to fish. It will also be found 
a good plan when fishing with worms to throw in a clay ball 
or two containing worms, the same as used for Barbel. 

The Nottingham style of Dace-fishing is with a rather 
long light rod with small upright rings, a wooden winch, 
and a fine undressed silk line. Instead of plumbing the 
depth as most of the London anglers do, the float is adjusted 
to what the angler considers about the depth, and casting 
his tackle out to the requisite distance from the shore, he 
allows it to drift down stream. Should the float sail down 
without dragging, the depth below the float must be in- 
creased by sliding it up the line ; if it bobs under at once, 
the float must be lowered till the worm touches slightly on 
the bottom without fouling ; he thus ascertains the depth 
with tolerable accuracy without disturbing the water. The 
length of the swim often reaching twenty yards down the 
river, some nicety is required in running the line from the 
winch so as not to draw the float out of the line of ground- 
bait, which the stream would be almost certain to do if there 
was any check on the line. 

Chapter XI, 


^ELS are found in rivers, canals, docks, etc. ; their 
usual haunts being weeds, under roots, in holes 
under the bank, in sunken boats, about flood-gates 
and weirs. In No. 1128 of the Field, it was re- 
ported that an Eel weighing 36 lbs. was caught 
near Downham Market, in November 1867 In 
the Thames, and indeed in most large rivers, they 
are taken principally with night lines, and in Eel baskets or 
pottles ; also in small rivers and ponds by means of an Eel- 
spear, which is struck into the mud, the Eels being caught 
between the prongs, which are covered with small barbs so 
as to retain them. Bobbing for Eels is sometimes practised; 
it is done in this manner : having ready a quantity of tough 
well scoured lobworms, fasten a needle to a couple of yards 
of strong red worsted ; pass the needle through each worm 
from the head to the tail until the worsted is full. Coil 
them round the hand, and tie them tightly in one place with 
some strong string, so that none of the links hang loose. 
The rod should be a small pole about eight or ten feet long, 
tapering from about an inch or more in diameter to half an 
inch at the small end, to which should be fixed a strong ring 
bent down to a right angle with the rod. Four or five yards 
of whip-cord will do for the line, but a piece of strong troll- 
ing line is best. The bobbing lead is a holl'ow cone about 
three inches high, with a hole through the apex of the cone, 
through which the line is passed, and tied securely to the 
bunch of worms, upon which the lead then falls, fitting on 
the top like a cap. Letting out just sufficient line to allow 
the lead to touch the bottom when the top of the pole 
touches the water, fasten the remainder round the butt of 
the pole ; keep raising them two or three inches from the 
ground, and lowering them till you feel a bite ; then draw 



the bait steadily up, without jerking, but sufficiently quick 
to swing the lead into the boat, before the eel drops off; 
they are only taken by the teeth sticking in the worsted ; 
two or three are often taken at once. 

.IGHT-LINES are made of water-cord, with the 
hooks about half a yard apart, baited with worms, 
loach, gudgeons, etc. ; a brick is fastened to each 
end of the line . to sink it, or a peg at one end 
and a brick at the other, and laid obliquely 
across the stream. 
They are also often taken when Legering for 
Barbel. This style of fishing has already been men- 
tioned, as also float-fishing; with the latter the bait should lie 
on the ground, strike when the float goes steadily off; get the 
Eel on shore immediately, and cut the bottom line close to his 
mouth, leaving the hook in, or he will tie your line up into 
a mass of knots, which will not be improved by his slime. I 
have also taken them when live-baiting for Jack. I was fish- 
ing a piece of dead-water in Shepperton Weir, for some time 
without success, one afternoon ; altering the depth so that 
the gudgeon swam much deeper, there were two runs in 
succession, the fish that took the bait fouling the line each 
time by running under the sill of the weir, apparently at the 
moment of seizing the Gudgeon. Suspecting they were Eels, 
I struck next time directly the float went down, and landed 
a fine Eel ; continuing at the same place I had five in suc- 
cession in a very short time. 

HEN the river is low and bright, they may be 
taken by sniggling. A short stout needle is 
whipped tight to the end of a few yards of troll- 
ing-line, in such a manner that the needle may 
hang crossways at the end of the line. Enter 
the needle at about one-third of the length 
from the head of a lively lobworm, pass the 
whole of the needle inside towards the tail, 
and draw it back towards the head of the worm, so that the 


middle of the needle is opposite where the point entered ; by 
this means the worm is sound and neatly fixed. The rod for 
sniggling is only used to convey the worm to the hole where 
you expect to find an Eel, and is made thus : — a piece of 
stout copper wire about eighteen inches long is fastened to 
the end of a stick seven or eight feet in length, bending the 
wire into any shape you find necessary to enable you to 
place the worm in the hole ; the end of the wire being pointed 
so as to hold the worm. Experience will soon enable you 
to distinguish those holes likely to contain Eels ; they may 
sometimes be discovered by their blowing up bubbles in the 
water. If an Eel is there, he will draw the bait off the 
wire ; give him loose line and plenty of time. On giving a 
moderate jerk the needle is fixed across his throat ; hold 
the line tight, keeping a steady pull on it, and he will soon 
make his appearance. 

The Lamprey Eel is similar in shape to the Lampern, or 
Seven-eyes, but grows much larger. It is sometimes taken 
nearly three feet long, in rivers having a communication 
with the sea. 

The Lampern is found in the Thames early in the spring. 
Some thousands are taken every season at Teddington ; but 
I have taken them as high up as Marlow. They are princi- 
pally exported to Holland for baits. They grow about a 
foot in length, and have seven holes on each side of the 
head ; the back is a dark colour, and the belly white. Cut 
in pieces about an inch and a half long, they are killing baits 
for the ordinary Eel. 


Chapter XII. 


HE G-udgeon is a handsome little fish, rarely ex- 
ceeding eight inches in length ; the back of a 
dusky colour, the fins and tail of a dirty brown, 
spotted with a darker tint ; at the mouth are 
two wattles like the Carp ; and on what is 
termed the lateral line of body, are six 
dark spots, of rather large size. They are a 
gregarious fish, and may be seen during the 
summer in shoals of upwards of a hundred at the bottom 
of clear rivers ; delighting in a sharp stream from two to 
five feet deep, with a gravelly bottom. Use the same Rod 
and Tackle as for Roach ; it is better to have a winch and 
running line, in case of large Perch or Barbel working into 
the swim. 

The best baits are blood worms and small bright red 
worms. Before you begin fishing, it is usual to rake the 
swim with an iron rake fastened to a long pole. By doing 
this, the water is coloured, and small worms and insects are 
stirred up, by loosening the gravelly sand ; the gudgeon in- 
stinctively swim towards the spot and take the bait. As 
they cease biting, use the rake again, and continuing in this 
manner you may take nearly every fish in the swim. Plumb 
the depth before you commence, and let the bait just touch 
the ground. When baiting with blood worms, put two on 
the hook ; they require very careful handling when doing so, 
as they are apt to fall to pieces ; when using red worms, 
bait with the tail end, leaving as little as possible loose. 

When fishing from a punt, it will be unnecessary to use 
the rake again as long as the Gudgeon continue biting. If 
they cease doing so, and do not come on again after raking 
the ground, try a fresh swim, continual raking and change of 



ground being requisite to secure successful Gudgeon fish- 
ing. I once caught one hundred Gudgeons in one hour from 
one swim ; this was in the Thames in 1858. Being short of 
Jack-baits I was compelled to catch them with a rod and 
line ; it was sharp work, the swim was about two feet deep, 
and the Gudgeons well on the feed, taking the bait as soon 
as it reached the bottom of the water ; I used the tail half 
of a red worm threadled securely on the hook ; by this means 
I could generally take a dozen before requiring a fresh bait. 

LEAK are found in immense numbers in the 
Thames, Lea, and several other rivers ; they are 
a lively, brilliant fish, somewhat like a Sprat in 
size and colour ; and easily taken with a small fly 
at the top of the water, or with a gentle or paste 
at midwater or towards the bottom. The Roach 
fisher is often annoyed by a small shoal of Bleak 
making their way into his swim, attracted by the 
ground bait. The young fly-fisher when whipping for Dace 
with a very small red palmer or black gnat, on the shallows, 
may take any quantity during the warm summer's evenings. 
If angling for them, it is a good plan to have four or five 
No. 10 hooks, tied on very fine gut about five inches in 
length, and attach them to an ordinary Roach line, like a 
paternoster, so as to fish all depths at once, using a very 
small quill float and baiting each hook with a single gentle or 
very small piece of paste. I have known them caught five 
at a time. 

HE Loach, or Stone Loach, is a very small fish, 
seldom exceeding five inches in length ; with a 
dark round body of a muddy colour, with six 
wattles at its mouth ; the colour of the fins some- 
what resembles that of the fins of a Gudgeon. 
They lie at the bottom like Barbel, routing the 
gravel, and may be taken occasionally with a piece 
of red worm, on the shallows near Milltails. They 
are only useful as bait. 



■ INNOWS, Pricklebacks, and Bullheads, or Mil- 
ler's Thumbs, are too well known to need de- 
scription. The first are valuable as a bait for 
Trout, Jack, etc, for which purpose the second 
is sometimes used, but requires the prickles to 
be removed. As regards the third, Salter says 
that " he has known seven dozen taken in a 
day in the New Kiver near Ware," and that "it is fine 
eating when fried, if the head is cut off;" but unfortunately 
the fish itself is only about three inches in length, and even 
that is nearly all head. 

A capital method of capturing Minnows is by means of a 
Minnow-trap. This consists of a very clear glass bottle, 
over the mouth of which is fixed a piece of perforated zinc, 
through which the stream runs, and agitates a small bunch 
of scarlet worsted hanging inside, attracting the Minnows ; 
these collect about the other end of the bottle and work their 
way into the interior through a small opening in the centre 
of the bottom of the bottle ; being apparently of an enquiring 
turn of mind, you will in a very short time have two or 
three dozen in the trap. When required, remove the zinc- 
cap, take out the minnows ; refis the cap, and it is again 
ready for use. When emptying the trap, should any stickle- 
backs have worked their way in, be careful of the sharp 
spines with which they are armed, and which must be cut 
off, if you are compelled to use them as bait through scarcity 
of minnows. 

The Stickleback ( Gasterosteus Semiannatus). 


1 y a 




Chaptee I. 


COMMENCE this short notice of Fishing Stations 
with a description of the Thames ; first as being 
undoubtedly the most important river of England, 
and secondly as being more particularly the scene 
of the London Angler's piscatory achievements. 
At the beginning of the present century it would 
have been comparatively difficult to inform him 
where to go to really enjoy his favourite amuse- 
ment ; for then, it would have required some considerable 
outlay of time and money to diverge to any great distance 
from home, or from the county in which he resided. In the 
present day, however, the position is somewhat different. 
Railroads and steamers have opened out an entirely new 
world of adventure and recreation, and his ambition is 
consequently stimulated to the highest pitch. For a com- 
paratively trifling cost, the angler can explore some of the finest 
districts of the most unfrequented parts of the north in 
search of the princely Salmon and the enormous Lake- 
Trout, which before the present age of quick travelling, 
were seldom placed within reach of his rod and line. The 
Thames, however, is par excellence the London Angler's 
river ; few streams containing a greater variety of fish, and 
the varied scenery on its banks being of unrivalled beauty. 
The season for Trout fishing is from April 1 to September 10 r 
and for all other fish from June 16 to March 14, all these days 
being inclusive. 


The takes of Roach and Dace during the season abund- 
antly testify to the improving character of the tidal waters 
about Richmond and Twickenham. Whilst to the admirer 
of nature very few places can be named equalling the views 
about Cliefden and the splendid panorama of the woods of 
Taplow, or, in the higher portions of the Thames, Culham, 
Henley, and Newnham. Granted that some anglers complain 
of their want of sport, but if, as often occurs, they will try 
for Jack (for instance) in the stream when they are all in 
the weeds, or, vice versa, try in the weeds when they have 
moved into the open water, what can they expect ? If they 
would only exercise a little thought and observation, and not 
trust entirely to their attendant puntmen, they would in 
many instances do a great deal better ; take it as a whole, 
few rivers can equal it either for scenery or sport. 

Owing to the steam navigation, gasworks, and sewers, 
the Thames Salmon, which, a century since, was noted for 
its splended flavour, has been entirely driven away from the 
river ; which will, notwithstanding, be one of the finest 
fisheries in England in the course of a few years, if the 
vigorous efforts now being made by Mr. James Forbes, of 
Chertsey Bridge, at his own cost, for the benefit of the Thames 
Angling Preservation Society, be persisted in, for the artifi- 
cial breeding and rearing of the different varieties of Trout, 
including the original Thames species, which is equal in 
flavour and colour to Salmon. The young fish grow rapidly, 
and should Pisciculture be carried on with spirit, even making 
allowance for the ravages committed amongst them by their 
mortal enemy the Pike, the river will be well stocked with 
Trout ; as although unsuited for many reasons for breeding 
them successfully by itself without management, yet the 
Thames supplies abundance of suitable food, and has all the 
conditions required for healthy development, as is sufficiently 
shown by the large weight and splendid quality of the Thames 

Through the exertions of T. Spreckley, Esq. (Chairman), 
and the Committee of the T. A. P. S., considerable additions 
have been made to the stock of fish in that portion of the 
river below the City Stone at Staines, which is under the 


supervision of their keepers. The Society has been much 
indebted to the Earl Amherst, of Montreal, Sevenoaks, for a 
very liberal contribution of fine Carp and Tench ; to the Rev. 
F. Fane, of Moyle's Court, near Ringwood, for 42 fine 
Tench, up to nearly 6 lbs., each, from the Hampshire Avon ; 
to Mr. Henry Farnell, of Thorp Hall, near Colchester (whose 
late father was the Secretary of this Society), whose offer to 
present some Carp for the Thames was gladly accepted ; 
and through facilities afforded by Mr. S. Swarbrick, the 
liberal and active Manager of the Great Eastern Railway, 
one of the river-keepers was sent to Colchester, and returned 
with 41 handsome carp, up to 41bs. each, which were put in 
the river at the back of Tagg's Island Hotel, at Hampton 
Court, in a very healthy condition, under the careful manage- 
ment of the Chairman and Mr. W H. Brougham, the energetic 
Secretary of the T. A. P. S. ; also to the authorities of Kew 
Gardens, Bushey Park, Home Park, and Barnes Reservoir 
for Pike, Perch, Carp, Tench, and other fish. Owing to the 
representations of the T. A. P. S., "snatching" is declared 
illegal, as is also the use of night-lines in the Thames above 

Two streams contend for the honour of the parentage of 
this noble river, the source of one being known as Thames 
Head (which is about 376 feet above the level of the sea), 
and that of the other as Seven Springs. The former would 
seem at first sight to have the best claim to the title, the 
source having always been called Thames Head by the in- 
habitants of the neighbourhood, and the stream itself having 
always been called the Thames for some distance before it 
meets the other branch, which has always been called the 
Churn. The latter, however, bears the palm as regards both 
its size and the distance of its course from the main river. 
Thames Head rises in a field close to a bridge over the 
Thames and Severn Canal, known as Thames Head Bridge, 
and is about three miles south-west of Cirencester. The 
stream is first traceable near Kemble, where a supply from 
one or two other springs enables it to spread into a pretty 
brook. It then passes Somerford, and at Aston Keynes it is 
joined by the Swill-brook, which rises about four miles from 


Tetbury ; it now flows on till it is joined by the Churn above 
Cricklade. The Churn rises near Leckhampton Hill, about 
three miles south of Cheltenham, at Seven Springs, which 
from its situation and the greater quantity of water that con- 
stantly flows from it, seems to have a better claim to be 
considered the "very head" of the Thames. Unlike the 
other stream, this is exceedingly picturesque at its starting 
point, and continues so for a great part of its course. From 
Seven Springs it runs past Cowley, Colesborne, under dif- 
fering Wood, through the rich grounds of Rendcombe, North 
Cerney, to Cirencester, through which town it flows ; it then 
runs for some distance along the Cricklade Road, by Ad ding- 
ton and South Cerney to the foot of Hailstone Hill, and 
joining the other branch about a mile above Cricklade, 
they flow on together as the Thames. The length of the 
stream from Thames Head is about ten miles, and the length 
of the Churn from Seven Springs is about twenty miles. 
Near "Water Eaton it is joined by the Ray, and tolerable 
Perch-fishing is to be found. By the time it has reached 
Inglesham the river has increased considerably in size, hav- 
ing received two rather important brooks : the Cole on the 
Wiltshire side and the Coin on that of Gloucestershire. Near 
Inglesham Weir (which is the head of the navigation on the 
Thames) it is joined by the Thames and Severn Canal, by 
means of which the navigation is continued through the 
Western Counties. This Canal, which joins the Stroudwater 
Canal near Stroud, is about thirty miles long, and was finished 
in 1789; before which time the Thames used to be navigated 
up to Cricklade by barges of light draught, built for the pur- 
pose, but now the upper course is left to the undisturbed use 
of the fisherman and the miller. Near 


it is joined by the Lech ; from St. John's Lock past Buscot 
Lock there is good Pike and Perch-fishing, and plenty of 
Roach. Following the road from Radcot Bridge we come to 


where is a station on the Great Western Railway. Near here 


is the celebrated Vale of the White Horse, Wayland Smith's 
Cave, and the Blowing Stone, — in the estimation of Berkshire 
men the next great wonder to the White Horse. The Blowing 
Stone is a huge sort of natural trumpet, being a large block 
of stone pierced in a curious manner. This when skilfully 
played may be heard at five miles' distance, and connoisseurs, 
it is said, can tell by the note where the player comes from. 
Returning to the river, the next noticeable part we come to 
is Tadpole Bridge, and passing several small weirs we arrive 
at the village of Standlake, where it receives the Windrush. 
There is good bottom-fishing along this part of the river past 
Appleton and Stanton Harcourt. The Church here and the 
Harcourt Chapel contain monuments well worthy the notice 
of the Antiquarian. On the Berkshire side, about a mile and 
three-quarters from the river, is Cumnor, immortalized by 
Sir Walter Scott in Kenilworth ; but the Haunted Towers, 
and even the very walls, are gone, and all that is left is but a 
portion of the foundation. A mile below 


the Evenlode falls in the Thames, and below King's Weir is 
Godstow Bridge and Lock. Near the bridge are some ruins, — 
not large, nor very picturesque, but they will be looked at 
with some interest from their connexion with Henry II. and 
the fair Rosamond. At Godstow Weir some good Trout and 
Perch are occasionally taken. Between 


and Iffley the Thames is joined by the Cherwell. Fisher- 
men, Bossom and Beesley. In the Oxford waters many good 
fish have been taken — Pike up to 16 lbs., and Tench up to 
4 lbs. These latter have become remarkably numerous lately 
in this part of the Thames, and have been taken principally 
with the red worm. At Sandford Lock Pool a Pike weigh- 
ing 20 lbs. was taken with the spinning-bait, May 1856. 
Below Nuneham Courtney and 


the river is joined by the Berks and Wilts Canal (leading to 


Bath and Bristol, and communicating with the Thames and 
Severn Canal), and by the river Ock. The fishermen at 
Abingdon are Kates, Short, and Taylor, and the Inns the 
Crown, Thistle, and Lion. About a mile below Day's Lock, 


it receives the river Thame. Dorchester is interesting as 
having been the site of a Roman station of great extent and 
consequence. Its high and palmy state was during the 
seventh century. The old abbey is still remarkable for its 
length and architectural features. Passing Shillingford 
Bridge, we came to the noted town of 


This town can boast of its antiquity and its ancient impor- 
tance. In the Castle of Wallingford William I., before pro- 
ceeding to London after the battle of Hastings, received the 
homage of the Archbishop of Canterbury and others. It 
was to Wallingford Castle that Matilda fled during the long 
struggle between the Empress Queen and Stephen. The 
Castle was last garrisoned during the great Civil War, when 
it was taken by Fairfax and demolished. The Town Arms 
Inn is near Wallingford Bridge, and the fishermen White- 
man and Gunston. From Wallingford Lock we follow the 
river past 


This portion is preserved by an Association from Pang- 
bourne to Wallingford Road ; the Inns are the Swan and 
the Bull at Streatley, and Saunders, Cox, and Rush fisher- 
men. The fishing used to be extremely good — large Pike 
and Perch and wonderful Roach ; but of late years they 
have fallen off, in size as well as quantity. A noted place 
for good Trout is at the Weir at 


near which the Thames is joined by the Pang, which contains 
some very fair Trout and Perch ; there is also some capital 


fishing in the main river. The fisherman at Pangbourne 
is Norris, and the Inns, the Elephant and Castle and the 
George. There are some good Trout at the weir at Maple- 
durham, but it requires careful fishing. The scenery is very 
beautiful past Purley to 


where there is a splendid stretch of water, but what with the 
netting and the influx of fishermen from London, via Beading 
(which has the advantage of three railways), the angler must 
not expect a very large take. The fishermen here are Free- 
body and Piper, and the Inns the White Hart, the Railway 
Hotel, etc. Some good fish may occasionally be taken in 
the Kennet, which joins the Thames between Caversham and 
Sonning ; at this latter place are some large Barbel and 
Boach. The fishermen are Bromley and Sadler ; Inn, the 
White Hart. Below this, at Shiplake Lock, it is joined by 
the Lodden, and both at Shiplake and Wargrave there is 
good Jack-water, — heavy beds of rushes and weeds that it is 
almost impossible to net. At Shiplake, a handsome Trout, 
weighing 11 lbs., was caught by Mr. Allard, whilst spinning 
from the bank. A year or two since, a distinguished member 
of the Piscatorial Society took a fine Pike of 21 lbs. between 
Sonning and Wargrave. At Wargrave the Inn is the George 
and Dragon ; and the fisherman, Beeves. 


is reached by a branch of the Great Western Bailway, the 
distance from town, by rail, being thirty-six miles. The 
Perch-fishing is remarkably good, some having been taken 
weighing three pounds and a half, and sometimes more. The 
Inns are the Catherine-Wheel, the Angel, and the Bed 
Lion ; the fishermen, Vaughan, Stone, Parrott, Lambourne, 
Woodley, etc. At Hambledon, where there are two weirs, 
some good Trout are occasionally taken ; there is also first- 
rate Perch-fishing near Culham Court, from the grounds 
of which the windings of the Thames are seen to great 
advantage, and extensive views are obtained of the wood- 



crowned undulations of the Chiltern Hills. Lower down the 
river is 


This was founded about the year 1200, but the commissioners 
appointed by Henry VIII. to enquire into the state of the 
smaller monasteries found it in such a ruinous state that, 
the monks having no objection to remove to a larger esta- 
blishment, it was appended to Bisham and suffered to linger 
on till it perished altogether. The walls were afterwards 
strengthened and it was converted into a dwelling, and so 
remained till the middle of the eighteenth century, when 
Francis Dashwood, Lord le Despencer, resolved to found an 
order of monks in accordance with the character of the 
times, — chosen not however from the poor and unlearned, 
but from men of rank and position and literary fame, who 
took the name of Franciscans from the Christian name of 
their Superior. " Fay ce que voudras " was the motto 
inscribed over the door, where it is still to be seen ; and, in 
accordance with it, these monks did what they pleased. The 
feelings of the neighbourhood were at length so outraged by 
the practices of this " band of brothers " that the society 
was suppressed. Every trace of the Franciscans was after- 
wards carefully removed from the walls, and the Abbey is 
again a peaceful dwelling. The Ferry Inn is near the Abbey. 
Fisherman, Johnson. The river from this part to Cookham 
abounds with fine Chub, which find capital retreats under 
the bushes which overhang the river, here of considerable 
width, with strong beds of weeds affording first-rate harbour 
for large Pike. At New Lock is a wide weir with a strong 
run in the centre ; at another and smaller weir at the side 
I have taken some large Perch with the spinning-bait. 
Some good Barbel may also be taken at the edge of the run 
with the ledger, but the bottom is very foul. Passing Har- 
leyford and Hurley, we come to 


at the foot of which some good Trout may be taken with 
fine tackle ; and when there is no water running over the 


weir (as sometimes happens when an extra supply is required 
for the mills), the fly-fisher may have first-rate sport with 
Chub, which find a harbour under the sill of the weir. In 
Temple-Mills pool are some large Barbel, and in the winter 
it affords a capital harbour for Pike, which are occasionally 
taken of very large size. Below Temple-Mills we come 
upon the fine beech groves of Bisham, and a curve in the 
river shows us the Abbey and Church opposite Bisham 
Abbey. One of our friends caught in this part of the 
Thames, in 1876, a fine Pike of 18| lbs. As we approach 
the town of 


the Suspension Bridge has an exceedingly light and graceful 
appearance, standing out as it does from a background of 
dark trees and round-topped hills. The Inns at Marlow are 
the Anglers, George and Dragon, and Crown. The fisher- 
men are Rockell, White, and Shaw. In the Lock Pool I 
have taken some good Trout and Perch with the spinning- 
bait. From the foot of Quarry Wood to Cookham is one of 
the finest stretches of water on the Thames for Pike. On 
the 31st October, 1868, I was fishing this part of the 
river ; working the beds of weeds and rushes growing in the 
middle of the stream, I ran 12 fish, losing only one of them 
by fouling in the weeds ; three of them I took with the 
spinning bait, the remainder with the live-snap in the weeds ; 
the largest Pike weighed 22 lbs. and the smallest 4 lbs. 
On the Wednesday before, I had a capital show of Pike, but 
the largest was only 12 lbs. ; my puntman was W. Rockell. 
The best way to fish this water is to write to a Marlow 
fisherman a day or two previous to starting, directing him 
to meet the angler at the Marlow Road (now called Bourne- 
End) station on the Great Western Railway (which is twenty- 
nine miles from London), close to the water-side, the railway 
bridge crossing the river at this point, and then fish the 
water well up to Marlow. The scenery about here is very 
fine, especially if seen from the top of Quarry Wood, which 
overlooks the country for miles round ; and the view of the 
Thames, with Marlow Church and Bridge, the mills, and the 


numerous aits with which the river is studded, is extremely 
beautiful ; as are also the views to he obtained for the next 
five or six miles past Cookham, Hedsor, Cliefden, and Taplow. 
The fishing from Temple-Mills to Marlow railway bridge is 
preserved by the Marlow Angling Club, but is free to 
anglers. The fishermen at Marlow Road are Sparkes and 
Goding. The river Wick joins the Thames near 


where there is a station on the Wycombe branch of the 
Great Western Railway. A portion of the river round the 
island below the bridge belongs to Lord Boston, who pre- 
serves it. The Inns are the Bell and Dragon, the Ferry, 
and the King's Arms, and the fishermen Wilder and Poulton. 
The next fishing station is 


which is twenty-three miles from town by the Great Western 
Railway, and fifty-two miles by water from London Bridge. 
The Inns are the Raymead and the Orkney Arms, and the 
fishermen the Wilders, Andrews, etc. Some little distance 
above the bridge is Boulter's Lock and Pool, where some 
good Trout are occasionally taken ; also Jack, Perch, Roach, 
etc. Below Maidenhead we come to the pretty village of 
Bray ; this name will recall the memory of its vivacious 
Vicar, who " whatsoever king did reign, would still be Vicar 
of Bray." Close to the river is the George Inn, and the 
fishermen are Hedger and Chapman. Below Bray is 


formerly the residence of the third Duke of Marlborough, 
who erected on it the Temple and Pavilion ; the latter con- 
taining the celebrated Monkey Room, with its numerous 
paintings of monkeys in various characters, from which the 
island takes its name. This property is now conducted as 
an hotel for fishing parties, etc., the Pike fishing in the 
neighbourhood being very good. Plummer is the fisherman. 


We now pass the noted Surley Hall, Boveney Lock, and 
Eton, and arrive at 


At Eton weir, spinning for Trout and Perch is successfully 
practised. The Inns are the Bridge Hotel, Crown and Anchor, 
Three Tuns, Swan, etc. ; and the fishermen, Haynes, Hall, 
Lamb, Cannon, and Holland. 


is a good station for Barbel-fishing, and some good Trout 
are occasionally taken here. In April, 1859, one weighing 
10 lbs. was taken with the artificial bait. I was spinning 
here in September, 1879, and hooked a small Jack of about a 
pound weight ; playing him carefully past a deep hole where 
I knew of a good fish, he was suddenly seized by a fine Pike, 
which, after some good play, became a tenant of the well ; 
he scaled 15j lbs. There are some capital corners for Pike, 
but unless the angler knows the water, or is with a puntman 
who is up to his work, his time will most likely be spent in 
vain; and this remark applies equally to the other stations 
on the Thames ; there are plenty of fish, but the majority of 
anglers are ignorant of their whereabouts. George Keene is 
the fisherman at Datchet. The Inns are the Manor, Horse 
and Groom, Angel and Crown, etc. Below Datchet is old 
Windsor, " the Bells " of Ouseley, and Wraysbury, where 
there is excellent Jack-fishing, especially on the side opposite 
the towing-path. The fishermen are J. Keene and Collins. 
Passing Magna Charta Island and Runneymead, we come to 
Bell's Weir, Egham ; at this weir there are always a few 
good Trout. Between Egham and 


the Thames is joined by the river Colne. The Thames, from 
the City Boundary Stone downwards, is preserved by the 
•Thames Angling Preservation Society, who have succeeded 
in abolishing netting from this point to Richmond Bridge, 
and also the abolition of night-lines and the prohibition of 


snatching to Kew Bridge. The river for this distance there- 
fore is one long preserve, the only nets allowed being a 
landing-net and a casting-net thirteen feet in circumference 
for taking baits. We give, however, the dimensions of the 
original preserves ; and the reader should remember that, 
although the Society preserves this portion of the Thames, 
yet the river is entirely free to the angler, and is protected 
only against the poacher and netter. The original preserve 
at Staines extends 720 yards from the City Stone, to 210 
yards eastwards of the bridge ; and there is capital Barbel, 
Eoach, Chub, and Gudgeon-fishing. The Inns are the 
Pack-horse and the Swan, at the water-side ; and the fisher- 
men, Cambers, Fletcher, Amor, Scott, and Keene. 


preserve extends 1,150 yards, being from the Guard Piles 
eastward round the Hook, to the east end of the Lock ; 
there is excellent fishing round the Hook, which is noted for 
its large Trout, down to 


which is a good fly-fishing locality, owing to the numerous 
shallows ; but there are also some quiet corners where the 
live bait may be employed for Pike with great success. The 
Inn is the Horse Shoe ; and the fishermen, W., F., and A. 
Harris. The preserve at 


extends 445 yards, being from the weir to 80 yards east- 
ward of the bridge. At this weir I have taken some fine 
Trout with the spinning-bait, and Mr. James Forbes a few 
years ago in the same way caught one of 14 lbs. 9 oz. ; and 
there is a small stream called the Abbey Mill River, which 
joins the Thames at Chertsey, in which some good Perch 
fishing is to be had. The Inns here are Chertsey-bridge, the 
Swan, the Cricketers, etc., and the fishermen, Haslett, Purss, 
Taylor, and Galloway. The " Stank, " near Chertsey Bridge, 
is a noted corner for Jack, where occasionally great execution 
is done with the live bait. 



There is first-rate Jack-fishing above the weir, in a corner 
at the lower end of the ait ; and at the Guard Piles is a 
noted swim for Barbel and Boach. The preserve extends 
800 yards below the weir, and this is one of the finest pieces 
of fishing-water below Staines. In the deep off Ham Haw 
Point, where the water averages 20 feet, and even more, in 
depth, there are some heavy Trout, Pike, Carp, and Eels. 
Ham Deep may also be fished with the live bait for large 
Pike during the winter months with the greatest success. 
At the mouth of a small stream known as the Bourne, which 
here enters the Thames, I have taken some fine Perch with 
the paternoster, using live minnows for bait. Some little 
distance below is Halliday's Hole, where great quantities of 
Bream and Barbel have been taken, and occasionally large 
Trout. The river Wey joins the Thames at Weybridge. 
The Inns are the Lincoln Arms, Portmore Arms, Crown, Ship, 
etc. ; and the fishermen, M. House and the Keenes. 

At Chalk Hole, between Weybridge and 


there is first-rate Jack-fishing, besides a good pitch for Barbel, 
Bream, and Roach. One afternoon in September, 1862, over 
ninety pounds' weight of Bream were taken by two rods. 
The preserves at Shepperton are the Upper Deep, 200 yards, 
the Old Deep, 240 yards east of the Creek Rails ; and the 
Lower Deep, 200 yards east of the Drain. The New Hotel, 
in Oatland's Park, is seen from this point to great advan- 
tage. The Inn at Shepperton is the Anchor, and the fisher- 
men the Purdues, Rogerson, and Hackett. In April and May 
some good Trout are always to be found near the head of the 
small islands which stud the river in the neighbourhood of 


The fishermen here are the Rosewells, H. Purdue, and 
Trodd ; and the Inns, the Ship and Red Lion. There are 
some capital Roach-pitches from Halliford to 



The preserve here extends 250 yards at the east of Tan- 
kerville's, and west of the horse-bridge, called Walton Sale. 
This is a noted place for large Pike, some having been taken 
here weighing upwards of twenty pounds, with the live bait. 
From Walton Bridge down to Sunbury Weir is a fine piece 
of water for Jack- spinning; and the whole water abounds 
with Bream and Koach. The fishermen are the Rogersons, 
George Hone, and John Rosewell ; the Inns are the Swan, 
the Crown, and the Duke's Head. 


Weir is a capital place for Trout at the commencement of 
the season; and late in the year I have taken some large 
Pike with the live bait, when part of the weir has been shut 
in so as to form an eddy. The preserve extends 683 yards 
from the weir eastward, to the east-end pile of the break- 
water. The Inns are the Flower-pot, Weir Inn, and the 
Magpie ; and the fishermen, Strouds and Clarke. From 
Sunbury some good spinning may be had from the towing- 
path down to 


The preserve extends 1,514 yards from the west end of 
Garrick's Lawn, including the Tumbling Bay, to the Lower 
Head Pile below Moulsey Lock and Weir. Some good 
Boach-fishing is to be had in the neighbourhood of Hampton. 
The deep is famous for Pike : in 1878 one of 27ilbs. was 
taken by an angler, and there are several records of 20 lbs. 
and upward ; the Perch also are of very fair size. The Inns 
are, Bed Lion, the Bell, and the Island, and the fishermen, 
Goddard, Benns, Langshaw, and Snells. Several good Trout 
are annually taken at Moulsey Weir ; and opposite the Lock- 
house is a good Barbel pitch. 


is 15 miles from London, on the South-Western Railway. 


Near this place the Thames is joined by the rive Mole, and 
large quantities of Perch are occasionally taken. In the 
deep, at the Water Gallery, there are always a few good 
Trout. The Inns are, the Castle (at the foot of the bridge), 
the Mitre, the Carnarvon Castle, and King's Arms. The 
fishermen are, Thomas and Charles Davis, W. Milbourne, 
Smith, Watford, Griffin, and Martin. A short distance below 
Hampton Court is 


where a great number of Jack are taken with the spinning- 
bait. The preserve is from Lord Henry Fitzgerald's, running 
eastward 512 yards. The Inn is the Swan ; and the fisher- 
men, the Taggs, Buttery, and Hammerton. 


is about 12 miles from London ; the fishing is improving 
greatly, Trout being not at all uncommon, although the 
rowing does not much assist the angling ; still the takes are 
decidedly better than they used to be. The preserve is 
1,960 yards in length, extending from the Lower Malt 
House, at Hampton Wick, to the east end of Mr. Park's 
Lawn, at Teddington, including the back water, known as 
the Trolock, in which there is good Jack and Perch-fishing. 
The fishermen are Johnsons and Clarke ; and the Inns, the 
Sun, the Griffin, the Anglers, etc. Trout are very rarely 
taken below 


although occasionally a large one has been taken at the 
weir. Below Teddington Weir are some good swims for 
Boach, Bream, and Barbel ; and sometimes Carp are taken 
of very fair size. The fishermen are the Kemps, Baldwin, 
Stevens, etc. The inn is the Anglers. 


The preserve is 410 yards from the west end of the Lawn, 
Pope's Villa, to the Ait. The fishermen are, Coxon, the 


Chamberlains, Moffatt, Brand, Finch, Spong, etc. ; and the 
Inns, Eel Pie House, Queen's Head, Two Sawyers, and 
King's Head. There is capital Eoach and Dace-fishing 
from Twickenham down to 

eichmond ; 

but the rise and fall of the tide (which flows as far as Ted- 
dington Lock) causing an alteration of the depth, and a 
consequent shifting of the float being requisite, the fishing 
is hardly so pleasant as higher up, where the stream flows 
more regularly • besides the annoyance in this quarter of an 
occasional skiff or other pleasure-boat being rowed into your 
swim by some weak-minded individual who, probably, has 
entered the aforesaid skiff for the first time in his life, and 
having screwed up his courage by sundry libations, appears 
consequently in his own eyes " monarch of all he surveys ; " 
and thinks it decidedly infra dig. to look in what direction 
he is rowing. A few of these " betes noirs " are sometimes 
to be seen about Hampton Court, appearing in the distance 
like floating windmills ; but they rarely venture higher up 
the river. 

Another nuisance is the " steam-launch," which has in- 
creased so rapidly during the last few years as to be a perfect 
plague, requiring a prohibitive tax to keep it within bounds. 
As regards the steam-launch per se, nothing can be said 
against it ; but unfortunately the majority of the owners, or 
their servants, appear generally to consider that the chief 
pleasure to be derived from their use is to obtain the 
greatest amount of speed, without any regard to the discom- 
fort or actual peril occasioned to any one else. Occasionally 
the owner is a "gentleman " who thinks of others as well 
as of himself, and accordingly slackens speed when passing 
a punt or small boat ; but we regret much to have to say 
that this is only the exception, and not the general rule. 

The preserve extends 700 yards westward of the bridge to 
the Duke of Buccleuch's ; the fishermen are Browns, 
Howards, Piatt, Wheeler, Brain, and Mansell ; and the Inns, 
Star and Garter, White Cross, Greyhound, King's Head, etc. 


Passing Eichmond we come to Isleworth, where there is 
no deep. The Inns are, the Northumberland, London 
Apprentice, and Orange Tree ; and the fishermen, Styles 
and Piatt. There is some good fishing in the Brentford 
Dock, belonging to the Great Western Railway Company, 
large Roach, Chub, Perch, and Jack. When Perch-fishing 
in this, as also in all the other Docks in the neighbourhood 
of London, a live shrimp will generally be found the best 

The fishing below Richmond has much improved within 
the last few years ; shoals of Dace may occasionally be seen 
about the shallows below Kew Bridge ; and when the tide 
is down, several fly-rods may be seen at work down the 
'• Strand-on-the-G-reen " portion of the river ; whilst Jack 
and Perch are again frequenting the holes off the towing- 
path, and plenty of Eels have been taken by " bobbing." 
Barbel have also been caught near Barnes. 

Below Isleworth there are two preserves mentioned in the 
old list, — one at Putney, 30 yards west to 20 yards east 
of the bridge ; and one at Battersea, 10 yards west to 10 
yards east of the bridge. " Greville F." mentions a fisher- 
man's tradition that the two Churches of Fulham and 
Putney were built by two angels, who, having but one 
mallet between them, threw it backwards and forwards 
across the river to each other, and when it arrived they 
either called "Put-nigh" or "Full-home," and from these 
the places received their names. 

A Sturgeon weighing sixty- six pounds was caught at 
Putney in May, 1867, by Lewis Gibson, the fisherman. 

Annexed is a list of the locks, bridges, and principal 
ferries, with the distances in miles and furlongs from 
London Bridge, commencing at Richmond, with the usual 
fall of water in the locks. I believe it will be found as 
correct as it is possible to be ; for it will be obvious that the 
height of the water must at times vary considerably, such 
as during a very dry or very wet season, when the fall 
in the locks will vary accordingly. The toll (6d.) allows 
the punt to pass once up and down again through the lock 
the same day, but some few of the locks are free. The 



Angler will find one of Taunt's Maps an extremely useful 
companion when travelling from station to station on the 
Thames. The distance from its source to where it runs 
into the sea at the Nore, is about 110 miles, nearly due east, 
but flows about twice that distance, measuring the windings 
of the river : — 


Kingston . 
Hampton Court 



Penton Hook 


Bell's Weir 
Old Windsor 


Datchet Railway. 




Marlow Ed. Ely. 




Medmenham Fy. 

Wargrave Ferry 




Distance by "Water 


London Bridge. 

Fall of Water 
in Lock. 

16 m. 2 f. 
19 m. 

1 f. 

1 f . 

20 m. 
23 m. 
25 m. 
28 m. 
30 m. 
32 m. 
34 m. 

36 m. 

37 m. 

40 m. 

41 m. 7 f. 

43 m. 6 f. 

44 m. 2 f. 
46 m. 1 f. 
49 m. 4 f. 
51 m. . 

61 m. 6 f. 

54 m. , 

55 m. 4 f . 
58 m. 1 f. 

58 m. 3 f. 

59 m. 4 f. 

60 m. 3 f. 

62 m. 
64 m. . 

66 m. 5 f. 

67 m. 4 f. 

69 m. 6 f. 

70 m. 3 f. 
73 m. . . 

75 m. 7 f. 

76 m. 5 f. 

2 ft, 
4 ft. 



5 ft. 
4 ft. 

5 ft. 
3 ft. 
2 ft. 


4 ft. 
4 ft. 


5 ft. 
3 ft. 
1 ft. 


6 ft. 
4 ft. 

5 ft. 


4 ft. 
3 ft. 


4 ft. 


4 ft. 


3 ft. 

4 ft. 
4 ft. 






Distance by Water 


London Bridge. 

Fall of Water 
in Lock. 

Maple Durham 

80 m. 2 f . 
82 m. 6 f . 
85 m. 5 f. 
87 m. . . 

87 m. 5 f . 

88 m. 7 f. 

92 m. 4 f. 

93 m. 

94 m. 1 f. 

95 m. 5 f. 
98 m. 4 f. 

101 m. 1 f. 

103 m. 1 f. 

104 m. 4 f. 

106 m. 6 f. 

107 m. 2 f. 
112 m. 3 f. 

114 m. . 

115 m. 4 f. 

116 m. 2 f. 

118 m. 2 f. 

119 m. 4f. 

120 m. 7 f. 

123 m. . , 

124 m. 2 f. 

125 m. 3 f. 
127 m. 2 f. 

129 m. 2 f. 

130 m. 4 f. 

131 m. 4f. 

132 m. 4 f. 

133 m. 6 f. 
135 m. 3 f. 
137 m. 1 f, 

137 m. 2 f. 

138 m. 1 f. 
138 m. 7 f. 

140 m. 2 f. 

141 m. 2 f. 

142 m. 4 f. 
144 m. 4 f. 
146 m. 6 f. 

3 ft. 

Basildon Railway 


5 ft. 
3 ft. 4 

Moulsford Ferry 


1 ft. 6 


4 ft. 6 



3 ft. 

Appleford Rlwy. 

Culham . 

7 ft. 

Iffley, . 
Folly Bridge 
Ensham , 

Langley or Skin- 
Ark Island 
Cock's or Langley 

6 ft. 
6 ft. 
3 ft. 4 

1 ft. 6 
3 ft. 6 

2 ft. 

1 ft. 6 

1 ft. 

2 ft. 6 

1ft. 4 
1 ft. 6 
10 in. 

Oxford . . 




Tenf oot . 

1ft. 6 
1ft. 6 
1 ft. 
1 ft. 2 

Tadpole . 

Rushy . 
Old Nan's 
Old Man's 

8 in. 


New Lock 
West . . 

8 in. 

2 ft. 
2 ft. 




Distance by Water 


London Bridge. 

Fall of Water 
in Lock. 

St. John's 

147 m. . 
147 m. 1 f. 

147 m. 7 f. 

148 m. 2 f. 
152 m. 3 f. 
155 m. 
160 m. 

St John's 

2 ft. 


Inglesham "VVeir 

Castle Eaton 

Chapter II. 


F the various rivers which flow into the Thames, 
the river Lea is the most valuable to the London 
angler. It joins the main river opposite the 
Greenwich marshes, below the Blackwall Rail- 
way, but Jack are very rarely taken below 


where some good Perch are occasionally taken with the 
paternoster. This water, together with The White House 
water and Temple Mills, are now rented by Mr. Beresford 
of The White House, and the annual subscription to the 
three is fifteen shillings, or without trolling, one shilling 
per day. Above Lea Bridge, and about five miles from 
town, we come to 

tyler's water, Tottenham. 
The fishing here is very good; the subscription is one 


guinea per annum including trolling, or without trolling, 
one shilling per day. The angler will find good accommo- 
dation at The Ferry House, kept by Mr. Noakes. Next to 
Tyler's is 

ford's water, 

the extent of which is less than a mile ; the subscription is 
the same as at Tyler's. This water belongs to what is 
called The Blue Hctuse ; beyond this, we come to 


or Jackson's Water, formerly Cook's Ferry, Edmonton. 
Upwards of two miles of the Lea and one mile of the mill- 
stream are preserved, and the angler may make sure of good 
sport in favourable weather. There are some good Trout 
taken occasionally with the spinning-bait. The annual sub- 
scription to this water is one guinea, including trolling, 
which commences July 1st, and ends March 1st. Live-bait 
fishing is allowed from October 1st to March 1st. The inn 
is kept by Mr. Wicks. Next to Bleak Hall is Mr. Digby's 
water at 


There is excellent Pike, Chub, and Perch-fishing in this 
part of the Lea ; the subscription for the season being one 
guinea. There is good accommodation for anglers at Mrs. 
Bullin's cottage at Chingford, close to the water. The next 
fishery is at 

ponder's end, 

belonging to The Anchor and Pike, formerly Keid's fishery. 
The length of this water is about two miles and a half, ex- 
tending as far as Enfield Lock. There is plenty of good 
Jack-fishing in this water, as well as some capital fishing for 
Perch. The subscription is half a guinea per annum. The 
next we come to are the 


Fisheries ; these are in length about three miles, and have 

112 THE LEA. 

plenty of Pike and Perch, with occasionally Trout. The 
annual subscription is one guinea. Mr. Metcalfe, of The 
Swan and Pike, is the proprietor of the water. The Lea, 
for the space of about two miles from these fisheries, belongs 
to Government, and bears the name of the 


Permission to fish must be obtained from the Ordnance Office. 
Large Trout, Pike, and Perch are taken here, but orders 
to fish are rather scarce. Next the Government waters is 
Mr. Clark's fishery at 


This is by rail 14f miles from London, and about 12 miles 
by road. This fishery includes the Corn-mill stream, the 
Straits, the Cob-mead, and the Broad-water, together about 
four miles and a half, and containing plenty of good fish. 
Two or three seasons since a Pike was taken in this water 
weighing nineteen pounds. The annual subscription is a 
guinea, and Sunday fishing is not allowed. The water at 


lately rented by Captain Saunders, but now held by 
Mr. Eastwood, the subscription being two guineas per annum, 
is rather weedy, but some very good Trout, Pike, and Barbel 
are taken. Above this water is King's "Weir, part of the 

where there is some first-rate fishing for Trout, Pike, and 
Perch. One of the subscribers took with the spinning-bait 
a fine Trout weighing eight pounds, May 20th, 1859, in the 
mill-stream ; I caught a very fine Barbel, weighing seven 
pounds and a half, June 4th, 1859, with a worm ; and in 
1864 I once took three brace of Trout in the day, from this 
part of the water. In the year 1869 one of the members 
landed a very fine Trout, of nearly eight pounds, with the 
artificial bait, in the lower part of the water. The whole 
of this portion of the Lea, as far as Nazing Marsh, beyond 

THE LEA. 113 

Carthagena Weir, is rented by Mr. Beningfield, of the Crown 
Inn, Broxbourne Bridge, who stocks the water every year 
with upwards of a hundred brace of Jack, besides a great 
number of fine Trout. One of the largest Bream ever taken 
in the Lea weighed 8| lb., and was caught in Carthagena 
"Weir, July, 1874, by Mr. Boyden. The annual subscription 
is one guinea, including trolling, or two guineas with Trout- 
fishing (subscribers residing near the fishery pay an extra 
subscription for Trout). Day tickets for Jack-fishing, two 

The angler who visits this part of the Lea in the hollyhock 
and dahlia season should not leave without visiting the 
Crown, Mr. Beningfield being as justly celebrated for his 
cultivation and care of those splendid flowers, as for his 
polite attention to visitors. 

In the upper part of the Broxbourne fishery, in what is 
termed the Gull, there are some heavy Pike, but they are 
not often taken. Beyond here is 

page's water, 

where the fishing is similar to that at Broxbourne. The inn 
is The Fish and Eels, and the subscription is one guinea per 


Fishery extends from Black Pool to and including Field's 
Weir on both sides of the river Lea, and from Field's Weir 
to a point opposite Nazing Mead on the west side ; also 
from Boydon Road to Field's Weir, in the Old Stort River : 
and is, altogether, upwards of three miles in extent. Mr. 
W- H. Teale, of the Rye House, is the proprietor. The 
subscription per annum is one guinea, including Jack-fishing, 
and one guinea extra for Trout (if the member resides be- 
yond five miles from the fishery ; if within five miles, the 
subscription is two guineas for Trout). The Jack season 
begins August 1st, and ends the first Sunday in March, and 
the fish are remarkably fine. I was Pike-fishing in this 
water a few years since, with one of the subscribers, and at 


114 THE LEA. 

the close of the day our take showed one of nearly fourteen 
pounds, one of seven, and several smaller ones, from two to 
five pounds each. 

Beyond the Rye Bouse is the 


Fishery, one of the best subscription waters on the Lea. 
The club is very limited in number, the subscription at pre- 
sent being eight guineas per annum, which will be increased : 
the entrance fee, whieh is rather heavy, is regulated from 
time to time by the committe©. 

Permission to fish is very rarely obtained by non-members, 
as the subscribers' tickets for friends are very limited in 
number. Although it can hardly be called a close borough, 
still it is the closest water on the Lea. The members of the 
Amwell Club have the exclusive right of fishing from Black 
Bool, above the Rye House, to Hertford ; also in the New 
River near Amwell, where a short time since one of the 
members took a very fine Trout, weighing six pounds, with 
the spinning-bait. 

A short distance above Hertford the Lea is joined by the 
River Maran, a little stream which has its source a few miles 
from King's Walden, and passes through Panshanger Park 
before its union with the Lea ; which, before receiving this 
addition to its waters, runs through Hatfield Park, the seat 
of the Marquis of Salisbury. The river here assumes the 
appearance of a lake, and is full of Pike and Perch, with a 
very fair quantity of Trout. Above Hatfield is Brocket Hall 
and Park. Here again the Lea spreads out into a spacious 
lake, and abounds with large fish. 

At "Wheathampstead, near the paper mills, there is very 
good fishing. Above here the Lea flows through Luton 
Park, where there is specially good Pike-fishing, in the 
lakes supplied by the stream ; which flows past the little 
town of Luton, and Houghton Regis in Bedfordshire, near 
which village is the source of the Lea. At Luton, in 1879, 
one of our friends caught 5 fine Pike from 7 to 10 lbs. 
each with a Fishing Gazette Spoon. For a full and particular 


description of the swims and holes-, the reader cannot do 
better than refer to " Greville Fs " Kod and Eail No. 1, which- 
takes the various stations on the Great Eastern Railway,. 

Chaptee III.. 



:HE Darenth rises close to the borders of Surrey;- 
one branch of it in Squerry's Park, near Westerham ; 
passes Brastead and Chipstead to Riverhead Bridge 
and Otford ; the Trout are tolerably numerous, - 
but rarely reach a pound. The other branch of 
the Darenth rises in the gardens of Earl Amherst 
at Montreal, Sevenoaks ; where the Hon. Josceline 
Amherst is carrying on the science of Pisciculture with con- 
siderable success. Some fine specimens of Trout of his own 
rearing are placed in the pool containing the springs which 
constitute the head of the Darenth. On the occasion of the 
Committee of the T. A. P. S. visiting Montreal on the 
invitation of Earl Amherst to receive the donation of Carp 
and Tench for the Thames, the Hon. Josceline Amherst 
kindly exhibited his Fish Hatching Apparatus, and a large 
quantity of Trout which he had raised for the purpose of 
stocking the Lakes in the Park. Passings Shoreham Paper 
Mill, it reaches Lullingstone Castle,. the seat of Sir W Hart 
Dyke, Bart. The fish here are of a larger size, and are 
sometimes taken as large as 2| pounds ,- the best flies are 
the small gold palmer, hare's ears, blue and yellow duns, a 
very small sedge, and the alder* I have had some extremely 
good fish from this part of the Darenth, but it requires 
very fine fishing. From Eynesford it runs through Farn- 
ingham, a good piece of water belonging to The Lion, at. 


Farningham. This is well preserved, and contains some 
capital Trout. Horton Kirby is another noted station. 
From Hawley Mills, where there are some heavy Eoach, 
we come to the Powder Mills of Messrs. Pigou. These 
waters are strictly preserved by Mr. F. Pigou (who is him- 
self a most skilful Salmon fisher), and the Trout-fishing 
is very good. Below Dartford it receives the name of 
Dartford Creek, and flows through the marshes into the 

The Cray rises at Newell, near Broom Hill, and is, or 
rather was (for Jack have got into some portion of it), a very 
good Trout stream ; it runs past St. Mary's Cray, St. Paul's 
Cray, past The Seven Stars, at Foot's Cray, to Bexley. The 
Cray joins the Daren th, and flows into the Thames. 

The Boden rises between Dunmow and Stanstead, passes 
Canneld, Chipping Ongar, Chigwell, Woodford, Wanstead, 
and Ilford, joining the Thames near Barking. 

The Wandle rises near East Croydon, passing Waddon 
Mill and Beddington Park to Carshalton and Hackbridge. 
There is capital fly-fishing at these places, but the greater 
portion is very strictly preserved; the water is extremely 
clear, and requires very fine tackle, a small hare's ear, or 
cock-wing, the Carshalton cock-tail, or a small alder; the 
coachman is an almost certain killer for the evening; a small 
quill gnat is also very good. Although the Wandle Trout 
usually run from §■ lb. to 1 lb., occasionally larger fish are 
taken, especially in some of the mill-tails : in 1876, a fine 
one, weighing 6 lb. 2 oz., was taken with a coachman, by 
Mr. F. H. Lemann, who some years since caught three Trout, 
weighing together 16 lb., in one evening. These have been 
preserved, and are in the Museum of the Piscatorial Society. 
The Wandle runs past Merton and Wandsworth into the 

The Brent rises in the North of Middlesex, runs through 
Edgware and Hendon, where there is some good water for 
Jack, Perch, and Roach ; thence to Kingsbury, where the 
fishery belongs to the Welsh Harp public-house, on the 
Edgware Road, three miles from Kilburn Gate. At the 
Kingsbury fishery some large Pike and Perch have been 


taken ; the annual subsciption is one guinea, or half-a-crown 
a day. The Brent then runs through Greenford, Hanwell, 
past OsterlyPark to Brentford, where it runs into the Thames. 

The Hog's-mill Biver rises near Epsom, in Surrey, and 
passing Ewell and Maldon, running: into the Thames at 

The Mole is formed by the union of several small streams 
that rise on the borders of Sussex, but is an insignificant 
stream for some distance after it has left that county ; entering 
Surrey, it passes Horley and Keigate, through Betchworth 
Park to Dorking, Mickleham, Norbury Park to Leatherhead, 
where there is some good Trout-fishing. There are plenty 
of fish in the different mill-pools near Dorking; leave to 
angle may be generally obtained from the millers. At 
Pains'-hill Park, near Cobham, there is some very good 
Pike and Perch-fishing, but permission to fish is requisite; 
The Mole then winds by Esher, and separates into two 
branches ; one runs by Ember Court, and enters the 
Thames near Thames DittoD, the other passes through the 
little village of East Moulsey, and joins the Thames at 
Hampton Court. The Chub-fishing is good, and in the 
neighbourhood of Esher are some fine Bream. 

The Wey has its source about a mile south-west of Alton, 
in Hampshire ; the river flows through the town, but is a 
very small stream for a long while after it quits it. The 
"Wey enters Surrey near Farnham, and passing by Godalming, 
is joined by the Arun and Wey Canal, near Guildford. 
About a mile beyond Woking is Newark Priory. At Byfleet 
there is capital fishing in the Park. The Wey then runs by 
Weybridge, and enters the Thames, being joined in the latter 
part of its course by the Basingstoke Canal. There is good 
fishing in nearly the whole of this river ; some parts are 
open water, but permission to fish is, in nearly all cases, 
readily obtainable where the river runs through parks or by 
farm lands. 

The Bourne Brook rises near Bagshot, and runs by Chob- 
ham, entering the Thames at Ham-Haw Point, near Wey- 
bridge. A branch of the Bourne joins Virginia Water, 
Windsor Park. 


The Abbey Mill River, which runs at the back of Chertsey, 
and joins the Thames near Chertsey Weir, has some good 
Jack, Perch, and Roach. Permission to fish is required. 

The Colne rises in Hertfordshire, near St. Albans, and 
flows past Two-Waters through New Barnes, Watford, and 
Loudwater to Rickmansworth ; the water here for nearly 
four miles is preserved by a club, the number of members 
being limited ; the subscription is ten guineas per annum. 
The Trout-fishing here is first-rate ; Pike are occasionally 
taken, and very fine Perch. Below Rickmansworth there is 
good fishing in the Copper-mill stream, which is preserved. 
The Denham fishery is also very good. At Uxbridge is 
Barrat's Water, where the Trout run from three to four 
pounds weight, but being shy, require fine fishing. Jack and 
Perch are also plentiful. The subscription is four guineas 
per annum. The next is the Thorney-Broad fishery, at West 
Drayton, where some good Jack and Perch are occasionally 
taken ; but it is especially noted for large Dace. The water 
is about two and a half miles in length, but is in some places 
very weedy. The Delaford Park and Iver fisheries are now 
united with the Thorney-Broad, the subscription to the three 
being forty shillings. Leaving West Drayton, we come to 
Colnbrook, and from thence to Staines, where this branch of 
the Colne falls into the Thames. At Wraysbury is a sub- 
scription water annually or by the day ; it contains large 
Roach, Dace, and Chub, some good Perch and Pike, and 
occasionally a Trout. " Greville ~F," records a Chub of 
eight pounds being taken by a visitor to this water. Anglers 
will find every accommodation at the George Inn, with moderate 
charges. There are other branches of this river, running near 
Bedfont, where some good Pike-fishing is to be ha,d when the 
water is high. Thence through Hanworth Park, Twicken- 
ham, through the grounds of Sir W. Clay, and the Powder- 
Mills at Hounslow, to Isleworth, where it joins the Thames. 

The Wick rises near West Wycombe, in Buckinghamshire, 
passes High Wycombe, Loudwater, and Woburn, falling into 
the Thames, near Cookham. The fishing is preserved by 
the various millers ; there are good Trout and other fish. 

The Lodden has its source in Hampshire, near Basing- 


stoke. At Old Basing it feeds some ponds, in which there 
are some very fine Pike. At Strathfield-Turgis I have 
taken large Pike with the live bait, but the river here is 
narrow, and permission to fish ia required. The angler in 
this district will find first-rate accommodation at the Wel- 
lington Arms hotel, near the entrance of the Duke of 
"Wellington's park, at Strathfield-Saye, through which the 
Lodden runs, and is here formed into a large lake, having a 
fine tumbling bay or waterfall, in which Perch have been 
taken of six pounds weight. An order for fishing this part 
of the Lodden is only to be had from the Duke, who very 
rarely grants one ; and therefore the angler who is so for- 
tunate as to obtain an order, must make much of it. from 
here the river runs through Berkshire, and joins the Thames 
below Sonning. Some excellent fishing is to be had at 
Lodden Bridge. 

The Kennet rises in Wiltshire, passing Marlborough and 
Chilton Foliat enters Berkshire at Hungerford, where the 
water is preserved by the proprietor of the Bear Hotel, the 
annual subscription being two guineas, or half-a-crown per 
day. From Hungerford the Kennet finds its way to Reading, 
where it enters the Thames. 

The Pang, a small stream, joins the Thames at Pang- 
bourne ; and contains a quantity of small Trout. 

The Thame rises on the borders of Buckinghamshire, 
and entering Oxfordshire near Thame, passes Waterstock, 
Drayton, and Dorchester, and joins the Thames at Shilling- 

The Cherwell rise-s on the borders of Warwickshire, and 
enters Oxfordshire near Clayton, thence past Banbury, 
Somerton, Skipton, and Water Eaton to Oxford, below which 
it enters the Thames. 

The Glyme rises in Oxfordshire, and passes Sandford, 
Glympton, and Woodstock, through Blenheim Park, where 
there are some splendid Pike and Perch ; thence joining the 

The Evenlode rises on the borders of Oxfordshire, passes 
Ascott and Charlbury, to Blenheim, where it is joined by the 
Glyme, and enters the Thames, near Eynsham. 

120 RIVERS. 

The Windrush rises on the borders of Gloucestershire, 
enters Oxfordshire near Burford, thence past Swinhrook and 
Witney, to Standlake, near which it joins the Thames. 

The Leach, or Lech, rises in Gloucestershire, near North- 
leach ; flows thence past Southrop to Lechlade, where it 
enters the Thames. 

The Coin rises a few miles from Seven-Springs, passes by 
Withington, Coin St. Denis, and Coin St. Aldwins, and 
through Fairford — a course of twenty-three miles — before it 
falls into the Thames, above Lechlade. The inn at Fairford 
is the Bull, tickets for Trout-fishing are 2s. 6d. per day — 
fly-fishing only ; Minnow prohibited. 

The Ray rises in Gloucestershire, and joins the Thames at 

Chapieb IV. 


HE Avon is one of the best Pike rivers in the 
south of England; the Trout also are very fine. It 
rises in Wiltshire, passes by Amesbury and through 
Salisbury, near which town there is some first-rate 
Pike fishing ; also Trout and Grayling. It enters 
Hampshire between Downton and Fordingbridge, 
at which latter place the Pike are on the increase. 
By taking up his quarters at the Star Inn, Fordingbridge, 
where the accommodation is excellent, the angler will have 
good fishing in the Avon, as well as in some other waters 
near. Ringwood is a noted station for large fish. Inn, the 
White Hart. At Sopley, the river for some distance is under 
the management of a club, and Pike of twenty pounds and 
upwards are not uncommon. There are some pools near the 
Southampton waters, where Salmon are taken in fair numbers 
by the members of a club, who preserve the fishery; and 

RIVERS. 121 

above these pools, in some waters belonging to Sir H. Fane 
and Mr. Mills, Pike are sometimes taken as heavy as thirty 
pounds weight each ; all under six pounds are returned to the 
water. At Christchurch, there is excellent Pike-fishing, 
also Salmon, Trout, Grayling, etc. ; and below here the 
Avon enters the English Channel, after flowing through the 
New Forest, with a beauty that must be seen to be 

The Stour rises near Stourton, in "Wiltshire ; passing 
Gillingham Forest, it runs to Sturminster, in Dorsetshire. 
At Wimborne it is joined by the Allan, and passing into 
Hampshire, enters the Avon near Christchurch. In some 
parts of this river the Trout are rather numerous, and the 
Perch are said to be large. The Pike-fishing near Christ- 
church is very good. 

The Itchen rises in Hampshire, near Alresford, and 
passes Winchester and Bishopstoke, where about four miles 
of it are preserved. In this part of the water there is 
some good Trout and Grayling fishing, and the Pike are also 
very fine. It then runs past Swathling, into the South- 
ampton water. 

The Test is a Trout river in Hampshire ; Whitchurch and 
Stockbridge are noted stations. Extremely fine tackle is 
required, and a very light hand in throwing the fly. There 
are some large Trout in the Test, which being bordered by 
water-meadows, will necessitate the use of wading-stockings. 
The principal flies are the March Brown, Yellow Duns, 
Alders and Sedge. The Anton is a tributary of the Test, 
which it joins at Testoombe Bridge; containing Trout, but 
of no great size. It runs past Andover and Clatford, and 
is strictly preserved. 

The Warwickshire Avon rises near Naseby, in Northamp- 
tonshire, which county it divides from Leicestershire, and 
entering Warwickshire near Bugby, winds through Stone- 
leigh Park, where the river widens into a lake, runs past 
Guy's Cliff, to Warwick Castle, thence past Charlcote, 
through a beautiful country to Stratford-on-Avon. It then 
enters Worcestershire, near Evesham, and passing Pershore 
and Strensham, joins the Severn at Tewkesbury, where there 

122 'EI VERS. 

is good fishing, the Avon being preserved for some distance 
above here. 

The Severn rises in Montgomeryshire, and joining the 
Vyrmvy, enters Shropshire, and almost encircles Shrews- 
bury, where Salmon are occasionally taken. It then runs 
by Colebrook Dale, and enters Worcestershire at Bewdley ; 
thence past Stourport and Worcester, below which place it 
is joined by the Teme, enters Gloucestershire near Tewkes- 
bury, where it is joined by the Avon, and passing Gloucester, 
is joined by the Stroudwater Canal, which is a continuation 
of the Thames and Severn Canal. The Severn then falls 
into the Bristol Channel. 

The Wye, Lug, and Teme are the chief rivers of Hereford- 
shire. The first is noted for its Salmon, Trout, Grayling, 
etc. ; and the Teme, especially in the neighbourhood oi 
Ludlow, being famous for its Grayling. 

The Axe rises near Beaminster, in Dorsetshire, and flows 
past Axminster and Crewkerne, into the Channel, on the 
coast of Devonshire. The Trout-Hshing is very good, Quill 
Gnats and Yellow Duns are killing flies. 

There are many good Trout-streams in Devonshire, such 
as the Tamer, Plym, Dart, etc., all requiring fine tackle and 
rather small flies. 

The Ouse rises in the south of Northamptonshire, near 
Brackley, enters Buckinghamshire, and passing the town of 
Buckingham, which it nearly surrounds, runs by Stony 
Stratford, Haversham, Newport Pagnell, and Olney, into 
Bedfordshire, near Harrold Hall. From Bromham Hall 
to Kempston there is first-rate Pike, Perch, and Bream 
fishing. The Bedford Club in 1876 tried the experiment 
of introducing Thames Barbel into this river ; which, if 
they succeed in acclimatising, will be a valuable addition 
to the finny stock of the Ouse. Passing Roxton, where it is 
joined by the Ivel, it runs into Huntingdonshire, near St. 
Neots, then past the town of Huntingdon and St. Ives into 
Cambridgeshire by Ely, falling into the sea at King's Lynn, 
in Norfolk. 

The Nene rises in Northamptonshire, and flows by the 
town of Northampton ; from Weston Favell to Doddington 

EI VERS. 123 

it is preserved by a club, and good Pike are occasionally- 
taken. There is capital Pike-fishing near Wellingborough, 
about six miles of the water being preserved by the local 
Angling Association. It then runs by Thrapston, Oundle, 
Eton, and Peterborough, and crossing Cambridgeshire, flows 
into the sea to the west of Lynn. The Nene is noted for 
large Koach and Eels, 

The Cam has two sources, one rising near Ashwell, and 
the other, bearing the name of Granta, rising near Newport, 
in Essex ; the latter flows through Linton, Audley End, and 
Shelford, where there are some good Pike and Perch, and 
unites with the Cam near Cambridge, above and below which 
place there is some good trolling, the river being preserved 
Dy the Cam Angling Society. About six miles from Cam- 
bridge, at Waterbeach, the river is again under the care of a 
club, and good fishing may occasionally be had, as also at 
Grantchester ; near Harrimere it joins the Ouse, and the 
united streams pass Downham in Norfolk to King's Lynn, 
where they fall into the sea. 

The Trent rises on the borders of Cheshire, in the north- 
west part of Staffordshire, which it crosses in a south-east 
direction through Stoke-on-Trent and Trentham Park. At 
Trentham Hall there is a painting of a large Pike that was 
found dead in a canal in the park:; it had seized a swan by 
the head, and their mutual struggle resulted in the death of 
both. The Trent then flows past Rugeley, to the verge of 
Derbyshire and Leicestershire, where it is joined by the 
rivers Tame and Meest; passing Burton-on-Trent, it is joined 
by the Dove ; it then crosses Derbyshire, passing through 
Donington Park to Sawley, where it is joined by the Derwent 
and by the Soar, nearer Nottingham ; the river about this 
town is too much "fished to afford any amount of sport ; it 
then crosses the county of Nottingham in a north-east direc- 
tion to Newark, whence it flows through part of Lincolnshire, 
past Gainsborough, and joining the Yorkshire Ouse, the 
uiiited streams become the Plumber. 

The Dove, from its rise in the north-western part of 
Derbyshire to where it falls into the Trent, forms the 
boundary between that county and Staffordshire. The 

124 EI VERS, 

Trout and Grayling are of fair size, but require very fine 

The Derwent takes its course past Chatworth, Matlock, 
and Derby, falling into the Trent. The whole course of this 
river is about sixty miles. The fishing is similar to the 
Dove. Visitors staying at the Rutland Arras, Bakewell, can 
obtain fishing on about seven miles of the Wye and Derwent ; 
plenty of Trout and Grayling. 

The Manifold is also a good Derbyshire river, in which a 
fair amount of sport may be had with the fly. 

The Yorkshire Ouse rises in the North Riding, and passes 
Masham, Ripon, Aldborough to Benningbrough, where it is 
joined by the Nidd - T thence past York, where it receives the 
river Ure to Cawood, where it is joined by the Wharfe ; 
near Howden, it is joined by the Aire, and below this by 
the Trent, when it becomes the Humber, and flows into 
the North Sea. 

The Coquet, North Tyne, Mn, and Till, are noted rivers 
in Northumberland ; the three first are good fly-fishing 
streams, but the last is more suitable for spinning. 

The Eden is the principal river in Cumberland, and con- 
tains some fine Salmon, Trout, etc. 

The Tame rises in the southern part of Staffordshire, and 
flows near Walsall, past Drayton Bassett and Tamworth, 
joining the Trent between Alrewas and Walton-on-Trent. 
There are few better rivers than this for Pike-fishing ; both 
Pike and Perch are numerous and large. 

The Stour rises in Kent, flows past Ashford, Canterbury, 
Minster, and Fordwich, to Sandwich, between which place 
and Ramsgate it falls into the sea, and contains Salmon, 
Pike, Perch, etc. In Eastwell Park and Godmersham Park 
there is capital Pike-fishing especially, though there are 
plenty of other fish, such as Roach, Perch, Tench, and Eels. 

The Medway rises in Sussex, between East Grinstead and 
Crawley, and runs through Penshurst past Tunbridge ; it is 
joined in its course by several little streams, such as the 
Buckhurst and Cowden streams; round Tunbridge Wells 
there is good fishing, but it is preserved, and orders to fish 
are required. The Eden, which rises in Surrey, supplies 

JtlVERS, 125 

sundry ponds on its way to join the Medway at Penshurst, 
and in nearly all of these are good fish ; one of these is at 
Edenbridge, and another at Godstone. The Teise is another 
feeder of the Medway, and rises near Frant in Sussex ; near 
Paddock Wood Station is some good Jack and bottom-fishing. 
At East Farleigh the Medway has plenty of Jack and Perch, 
as well as Eoach and Bream. From thence it -runs past 
Maidstone, Kochester, and Chatham, joining the mouth of 
the Thames at the Nore. 

The Chelmer, which rises in the North of Essex, has some 
very good Jack and Petch-fishing ; it flows by Thaxsted and 
Dunmow to Chelmsford, thence to Maldon, where it joins 
the Blackwater. 

The Blackwater also rises in the north of Essex, and runs 
by Braintree, Coggeshall, and Witham, where it is joined by 
the river Brain, and has its exit to the east of Maldon. 

The Stort rises in the north-west of Essex, flows past Stan- 
stead, Bishop Stortford, and RoydoD, where the angler will 
fine some good sport, joining the Lea between Broxbourne 
and the Rye House. 

The Arun rises near Horsham, in Sussex, and is joined in 
its course by the Arun and Wey Canal, and by the river 
Rother (from Hampshire), near Pulborough. Passing Arun- 
del, it falls into the sea at Little Hampton. There are many 
lakes and ponds watered by these rivers, containing large 
Pike, etc. At Shillinglee and Petworth Parks are some 
splendid lakes strictly preserved by Lords Winterton and 
Leconfield. The lower part of the Arun is especially noted 
for its Mullets ; also for large Roach. 

The Ouse rises in the Wealds, passes by Maresfield, 
Brixted, Isfield, and Lewes, falling into the sea at New- 

The Rother rises in Sussex, near Rotherfield, and flows 
near Etchingham, Bodiham, Newenden, and Rye ; at Win- 
chelsea, it is joined by the Breke, and the united streams 
falling into the great basin to the east of the Port of Rye 
form Ryehaven. 

The Exe rises in the west of Somerset, at Exmoor, and 
falls into the sea at Exmouth. There are three associations 



on this river for preserving the fishing. The water belonging 
to the Exeter Society is noted for its large fish. 

The Dee rises in Merionethshire, runs by Bala, and 
entering Denbighshire, passes Llangollen and Wrexham to 
Chester, and thence to the Irish Sea. This river is noted as 
much for the beauty of its scenery as for the abundance of 
its fish, there being plenty of Trout, Pike, Perch, etc., as 
well as Salmon. 

Chapter V. 


J T ILFORD, in Essex, there are a lake and a couple 
of ponds, containing some fine Pike and Perch. 
I have taken some good Pike here with the live 
bait, but the water is very weedy. 

Blenheim Park, the seat of the Duke of Marl- 
borough, is a short distance from Oxford. The 
waters here, which are fed by the river Glym, 
contain some very large Pike and Perch, but especi- 
ally the former, which are sometimes taken as high as 30 lb. 

Cleveland Hall, in Staffordshire. -. — The Pike in the lake 
here are large. Mr. Jesse, some years since, took one 
weighing 28 lb. with the spinning-bait. 

Croydon, Surrey. — The Surrey and Home Counties Fishing 
Club, subscription Two Guineas, has the right of fishing 
three Lakes, Ifield in Sussex, Oxted in Surrey, and at the 
head-quarters of the Club, Cavan Villa, Whitehorse Road, 
Croydon, about fifty acres in extent of good general fishing. 
Mr. Mills is the Secretary of the Club. 

Dagenham Breach. — This lake, which is situated in the 
Essex Marshes, has a good supply of Pike, Bream, and large 


Perch ; the latter have been taken over 4| lbs. in weight. 
It is situated between the Eainham and Barking stations on 
the Tilbury Line. 

Egham. — There' is a good piece of water here, where there 
is good fishing, especially for Perch.. 

Frencham Ponds, near Farnham, in Surrey. These con- 
tain immense quantities of Perch, wbich I think are taken 
best with the Paternoster, using a live minnow for the bait. 
If the angler intends doing any execution at all here, he 
should be provided with certainly not less than a hundred 
of minnows, as ten or twelve dozen Perch may be taken in a 
day. As an instance of what has been done in these ponds, 
two gentlemen in the year 1847 took the extraordinary 
number of 480 in four hours ; each had two hooks to his 
line, and repeatedly had two at a time, — rather sharp work, 
about one a minute. The keeper at the pond charges about 
a shilling per day. 

Gatton Park, near Heigate, contains a large lake and pond. 
These hold a considerable number of fine Pike and Perch ; 
the pond, which is close to the lake, is full of Perch, many 
of them of very large size. 

Godstone, Surrey. — There is a lake near this place con- 
taining some good fish, and here I have had some excellent 
sport with Pike, both with the live bait and with spinning. 
There is also good Perch-fishing in some parts of the lake. 

Hatfield Park and Brocket Hall. — The lakes in these parks 
which are fed by the river Lea, contain some splendid Pike 
and Perch. Permission may generally be obtained by writing 
to the noble owners. 

Home Park, Hampton Court. — The ponds (three in num- 
ber), and the long canal contain some very fine fish. Orders 
to be obtained at the office of the Master of the Horse. 

Horsea Mere and Heigham Sounds. — Two lakes, a few 
miles north of Yarmouth, have long been celebrated for 
large Pike and Bream, and also bear the name of the 
Norfolk Broads. 

In Cheshire are many large lakes and pools, which abound 
with Pike, Perch, etc. 

In the Rye Military Canal, large Pike are often taken. 


A few seasons since I saw one weighing 30 lbs., which was 
taken in this canal with a live bait. 

Kingsbury Reservoirs, on the Edgware Road, belong to 
the Welsh Harp Fishery, on the river Brent, which supplies 
these reservoirs. They contain a great quantity of Jack and 
Perch, and are in the subscription to the above fishery ; the 
terms are a guinea per annum, or half-a-crown per day. 
Punts may be hired for a small sum at the Welsh Harp 
public-house, which adjoins the water. 

Osterley Park, near Ealing. — The property of the Earl of 
Jersey. In the grounds are Lakes abounding with large 
fish. One of these lakes is noted for large Carp, and another 
for Pike. Hofland mentions the circumstance of a Pike 
weighing over forty pounds being found dead at the side of 
the lake. It had gorged the head and neck of one of the 
swans, and the body being rather too large, and the swan 
rather too powerful, this voracious monster was choked. 

Richmond Park. — The Penn Ponds contain some good 
Pike and Perch, but are very weedy. Orders to fish are to 
be obtained from the Deputy Ranger. 

Ruislip Reservoir, between the Pinner and Uxbridge 
stations, contains some good Jack and Perch. It belongs to 
the Grand Junction Canal. 

Southill Park, Bedfordshire, the estate of Sam. Whitbread, 
Esq., contains a large lake abounding with fish; three Pike 
were taken here some years since, weighing in the aggregate 
100 lb., a record of which is still kept at the Hall. An emi- 
nent surgeon of London had some fine specimens of Perch 
on the 23rd of June, 1869; several over 2 lb., and one 
weighing over 3 lb., altogether thirty brace of splendid 
Perch, taken with the Paternoster, in addition to several 
very good Pike. 

Shardloes, near Amersham, in Buckinghamshire, contains a 
fine piece of water, with plenty of fish. 

Slapton Lea. — This lake, situated near Dartmouth, in 
Devonshire, contains a great quantity of large Pike and 
Perch ; permission to fish is obtained from Mr. Pollard, of 
the Sand's Hotel, which is at the side of the water. The 
lake is only separated from the sea by the beach, so that sea- 


bathing is easily attainable. The largest fish are taken in 
this lake with the spinning-bait, to work which properly a 
punt is required, for which, including the man, the charge is 
8s. 6d. per day. The best route is by the Great "Western 
Railway to Totnes, thence to Dartmouth by steamer, and 
from Dartmouth to Slapton Lea by fly. 

South Norwood Reservoir. — Annual subscription, two 
guineas for Jack, Perch, and Roach-fishing : limited to fifty 
members. Applications to be sent to Mr. Steer, South Nor- 
wood Park, Surrey. 

Stoke Newington Reservoirs. — In these there are some good 
Jack and Perch ; as many as sixteen of the former have been 
taken in about a couple of hours. Tickets are obtained from 
the Directors of the New River Company. 

The Lakes of Cumberland . — Such as Ullswater, Basing- 
thwaite water, Buttermere, Crummock water, and numerous 
others, are all well supplied with large Pike and Perch, as 
well as Trout, and some of them contain Char. 

The Lakes of Westmoreland, especially Windermere (which 
is over 14 miles long, and in some parts nearly two miles 
broad), are well stocked with fish. A fine Trout weighing 
4 lb. 9 oz. was taken in Windermere, June 6, 1876. 

The Lakes of Lancashire will also afford good sport to the 
angler ; Esthwaite water, especially, is noted for large Pike, 
and Coniston water is said to produce the best Char in 

Of the numerous canals intersecting the country, which 
contain Jack and Perch, those nearest London are — 

The Surrey Canal, which joins, near New Cross, the 
remains of the Croydon Canal. Perch and Jack have been 
taken here in considerable numbers. 

The Paddington Canal, which joins the Grand Junction 
Canal ; and 

The Regent's Canal, which runs through Regent's Park, to 
the basin between Limehouse and Stepney, will afford mode- 
rate sport for Jack and Perch, but are often netted. 

Virginia Water and the Great Lake. — An order to fish 
these splendid preserves is rather difficult to obtain. It 
may perhaps be procured through the Deputy Ranger, Holly 



Grove, Windsor Park, but can only be used when the Royal 
Family is from Windsor. 

The Forest Hotel, — near Chingford Station, on the Great 
Eastern Railway. It is impossible to say even a word or 
two about Epping Forest without referring emphatically to 
the spirited interposition by which the Corporation of the 
City of London has preserved for the public benefit that 
beautiful and extensive tract of woodland which forms a vast 
natural recreation ground for the whole metropolis. Unsur- 
passed for the charming variety of its scenery and the 
delightful purity of its air, the Forest, as a health resort, 
offers an important additional advantage now that its most 
picturesque and attractive localities are within a short and 
agreeable journey, either from the City or principal suburbs 
of the metropolis. The scenery around the Forest Hotel is 
the loveliest in the whole district, and the woodlands are 
among the finest in England — the oaks, elms, and beeches 
being remarkable for their luxuriant and yet stately beauty. 
There is a Lake in Epping Forest close to this Hotel, contain- 
ing Carp and other fish ; it is known as the " Forest Pool." 

Wimbledon Park. — The lake in this park contains some 
very large Pike, Perch, etc., and is strictly preserved; per- 
mission to fish is required, and may generally be obtained by 
writing to the owner. 

Wanstead Park. — The fishing in the large ponds in this 
park is excellent ; large Pike and Perch are taken. 

Wisley Common, near Weybridge. — The Hut pond con- 
tains quantities of Carp, Pike, and Roach. Tickets one 
shilling each, to be obtained at the Inn next the pond. 

In addition to those before mentioned, there are rivers, canals, 
lakes, ponds, reservoirs, etc., innumerable, all over England, 
in which good fishing may be had. I have merely directed 
the attention of the angler to the best of those known to me. 

There is good fishing in the Lochs and rivers of Scotland 
and Ireland, with few exceptions ; as also in the Llyns of 
Wales. These have all been so well described in previous 
works, such as " Hofland's," " Stoddart's," " The Angler's 
Diary," etc., that in our present limited space it would be 
only a repetition of names. 


Chapter VI. 


N penning these few pages on Sea-fishing, I am 
induced to do so at the request of many of my 
angling friends, who think that a few hints as to 
the tackle most useful for ordinary purposes would 
not be unacceptable to the general Angler. It 
must not be supposed that in our limited space 
we can go into the subject at any very great 
length, the comprehensive work by Mr. Willcocks 
treating so very exhaustively of every style ; but the price 
being rather beyond the majority of those who have only 
an occasional day's sea-fishing, was an additional induce- 
ment to add to the "Modern Angler " the present chapter, 
in which we purpose giving a general account of the 
necessary tackle required for use round our coasts. 

It will be found as a rule that the Lines and Tackle 
used by the regular fishermen are much coarser than is 
really necessary ; and there can be no doubt that in sea- 
fishing, as in river-angling, the finer the Tackle consistent 
with the requisite strength to hold the fish when hooked, 
the more successful will be the result. Strong Salmon gut, 
either single, twisted, or plaited, is preferable to the cord in 
common use for the traces at the end of the line, for all 
but the very largest descriptions of fish. The line itself 
may be either tanned cord, tanned plaited hemp, or the 
ordinary prepared plaited silk Pike-line. The latter may 
be used much finer than the others, and is best for rod- 

A stiff rod of either hickory or mottled cane, with large 
strong, upright rings and tops of different lengths, so that 
it can be used full-length from piers or rocks, or shorter 


from a boat ; fitted with a strong brass winch running 
easily and large enough to carry sixty or eighty yards of 
line, will be found very useful for taking many descriptions 
of fish. A strong paternoster of twisted gut, with the 
hooks mounted on stout Salmon gut of the ordinary length 
of ten inches or so, and a conical lead of sufficient weight 
to keep the line straight down against the run of the tide, 
will be found very useful for Whiting, Chad, Pouting, and 
similar fish. Bait with rag-worms, mussels, or small strips 
of the silvery part of the fish ; but I have found small 
hermit-crabs, carefully extracted from the shell, a most 
killing general bait. Strike sharply on feeling a bite, and 
get your fish on board as quickly as possible. 

A landing-net or gaff-hook will be found very useful for 
all but very small fish ; more are lost by being weighed out 
tban in any other way. 

Basse, Mackerel, Grey Mullet, and many other descriptions 
of fish may be taken with the rod, when ordinary hand- 
lines have not caught a single fish. Basse are found on the 
greater portion of the southern coasts of England and 
Ireland, depositing their spawn in the summer months as near 
fresh water as possible ; they feed usually better in the 
evening than earlier in the day, and will readily take small 
fish or spinning-bait. They may also be caught from any 
convenient rocks, fishing with a strong trace and large cork 
float ; medium-sized hook, baited with mud-worms, strips 
of Pilchard, Mussels, or Shrimps. The smaller Basse will 
rise freely at a white fly with scarlet body. The larger 
fish are caught with a bright spinning-bait, such as a small 
spoon or artificial fish, not fishing too deep, and having 
several strong swivels on the trace. 

Mackerel are exceedingly abundant along the southern 
coasts ; as the spring advances, the shoals of fish come 
nearer to land, and afford excellent sport. Choose a light 
breeze, and tack backwards and forwards over the best 
ground at about two or three miles an hour. Trail a 
spinning-bait out some thirty yards or more. The sinker 
on the trace will vary, of course, in weight according to the 
depth at which the Mackerel are found to swim, and may 


range from an ounce to five ounces. From the trace at 
different distances hang five or six white and scarlet flies, 
the same as used for Basse. The line should be kept 
constantly in motion, and the bait may be varied by using 
thin strips of the silvery belly of a fresh-caught fish. Capital 
sport may also be obtained by having the boat rowed 
quietly into a shoal and using an ordinary strong fly-rod, 
using three of the white flies on an ordinary three-yards' 
Salmon cast. Another method, known as " railing," is often 
practised off the Sussex Coast ; the lead-sinkers often weigh 
from twelve to fifteen pounds, owing to the very rapid run 
of the tide and the great drag, even when the boat is not 
travelling faster than three miles an hour. Seven to nine 
hooks are used, each mounted on a long cord-snooding and 
baited with strips of Mackerel. At certain seasons, float- 
fishing is very successful from rocks or pier-heads. Use a 
large cork float, three yards' Salmon line, and medium-sized 
hook. It is always best to use one or two brass swivels 
so as to prevent any kinking in the line. Use sufficient 
large duck-shot or a dip-lead, as in Pike-fishing, to keep the 
float steady, and bait with a strip of Mackerel ; set the float 
about twelve or fourteen feet from the hook, and drift it off 
with the tide. 

Whiting is found on nearly all the coasts of England and 
Ireland, and is taken all the year round either by one style of 
fishing or another. The ordinary " Sea-tackle," with a heavy 
lead sinker and a pair of projecting wires or " chop-sticks," 
as used at the various sea-side holiday resorts, is so well 
known that a lengthy description of it is unnecessary. It is 
the style of tackle in general use by the boatmen, but is 
usually of a very coarse and clumsy material, with common 
blunt hooks knotted on heavy twine. A similar arrange- 
ment with a conical lead, sufficiently heavy for the strength 
of the tide, which may sometimes require a lead of two or 
three pounds in weight, or even more, a good darkened wire 
spreader, or " Chopsticks," with a twisted gut hook at each 
end, is a most useful tackle, and I have landed on it a great 
variety of fish, from Whiting, Weavers, and Dogfish to 
small Cod, Congers, and Sea-Bream. Let the lead sink till 


it touches the bottom, and then raise it a little ; holding the 
line steadily in the hand over the side of the boat, you will 
readily distinguish a bite, and will often land two fish at 
once. The ground frequented by Whiting at the different 
seasons is known to the fishermen by particular marks, and 
some specially good spots are kept profoundly secret by the 
fortunate discoverers. The marks are found by noting the 
positions on shore of certain conspicuous objects, such as 
buildings, trees, or high rocks. When going to a fresh 
locality, it is always best to select a boatman on whom you 
can rely ; if you have any friends living in the neighbour- 
hood, they may probably be able to recommend you a man 
who understands his work, not one of those sea-side loafers 
who will pretend to know all about it, and after inducing you 
to place yourself under his guidance, will fleece you in every 
possible manner. After taking you out for the greater 
portion of the day, of course not forgetting to offer up many 
libations in honour of Neptune from your whisky-flask or the 
beer-jar, he will, after emptying both, bring you back with 
no fish, telling you that the tide was wrong, or something 
else not quite right ; while the simple reason is that your 
man on whom you relied, knows nothing whatever about the 
marks or the places. In river-fishing, an Angler of ordinary 
intelligence will generally be able to find out for himself the 
proper places for the various descriptions of fish ; but in 
sea-fishing, unless you moor your boat in line with these 
marks, you may often fish in vain, therefore is it necessary 
that you should be able to rely on your boatman for taking 
you to the right anchorage. 

One of my friends has been very successful, taking fish 
when the surrounding boats were catching nothing. The 
secret of his success appeared to be, that after anchoring 
his boat in the proper place, he sunk, unperceived, an ordinary 
large-sized galvanized wire eel-trap, the same as in rivers 
and lakes. This was well baited with entrails of fowls, etc., 
which acted as an attractive ground-bait. He not only caught 
quantities of fish with the rod, but found several fine eels in 
the trap when it was hauled up. Haddocks are in the best 
season during the autumn months, and are caught on similar 


tackle to that used for Whiting or Cod. They roam about 
in large shoals, and are somewhat erratic in their movements. 

Sea-Bream, Pollack, Wrasse, and Gurnard are also taken 
with the " Chop-stick " tackle, varying the sizes of the 
hooks in proportion to the fish. 

Great quantities of Congers, Codlings, Basse, etc., are 
taken on long lines called " Bolters," made like the eel-lines 
used in rivers, but of a much stronger description, with the 
hooks baited with whelks, mussels, mud-worms, sand-eels, 
etc., and laid so as to meet the tide as it flows in over the 
beach, fastening the two ends to heavy stones or stakes. 
The hooks are looped on the main line, about four feet apart, 
and may be in number from a dozen to five or six hundred ; 
wine corks, fastened on the line about twelve feet apart, will 
keep it clear of weeds. 

There are some inconveniences attending the laying and 
raising of these bolters, as they can only be examined from 
a boat, or, in the case of small ones, by wading or waiting till 
the tide has run out. Many good Anglers lay where prac- 
ticable what is termed a "Travelling Bolter," which is made 
in the following manner: — Select a very heavy stone, and 
taking two or three turns round it with strong whipcord, 
fasten this securely with a knot, and attach to it a common 
large curtain ring. Just before the turn of the tide and the 
coming in of the young flood, lay this prepared stone as far 
out as practicable in a suitable position, pass the end of your 
line through the ring which is fastened to the stone, and 
walking back a sufficient distance up the beach, bring the 
line with you ; at the same time give off enough line from 
the reel to form a double line when you have reached the 
requisite distance. The two ends can now be knotted so as 
to form an endless line ; and in the knot fasten a small piece 
of stick to form a stop when it reaches the ring on the stone, 
and thus prevent any of the hooks being drawn into the 
ring. The hooks, mounted on short pieces of gimp or 
twisted gut, are of course attached to one-half only of the 
line, by means of loops knotted in the line at sufficient 
distances apart, to prevent entanglement, and it will be 
obvious, that as the plain half is drawn in, the other half 


travels out to sea with the hooks fresh baited, the piece of 
stick preventing the line being drawn too far ; and by 
reversing the operation, as the fish are hooked, they are 
brought to land, the hooks rebaited and drawn out again, 
without the trouble of a heavy lead being thrown out each 
time, the fisherman remaining at highwater mark. 

Grey Mullet are well-known fish. They rarely travel far 
out to sea, but prefer places such as floating docks or 
harbours, and especially such localities as have both fresh 
and salt water pouring in at the rise and fall of tbe tide. 
Their lips are very sensitive, and they instantly eject any 
bait at all distasteful to them. Fish for them with a strong 
gut paternoster, with very light lead and small float. Bait 
with a piece of worm, a few flakes of the green silk weed 
found adhering to tbe stones, or wasp-grubs. 

The Atherine, or Sand Smelt, like the Grey Mullet, are partial 
to creeks where the tide ebbs and flows ; they generally feed 
best on the flood tide. Use a very light paternoster, with five 
or six hooks, size No. 8 ; bait with a piece of worm, and fish 
it by " sinking and drawing," striking lightly as soon as you 
feel a bite. 

Eels, and especially the large ones, are generally taken on 
night-lines, made like small bolters, and mounted with any 
number of hooks attached to the main line by loops about 
three feet apart, and baited with small fish or worms. 
Sniggling is much practised for eels ; a description of this 
style is given at page 86, and a sketch of a needle baited will 
be found at page 4 (the page being there given in error as page 
70). With the copper wire at the end of the rod insert the 
baited needle into every crevice about piles, or in the broad 
cracks between stones of bridges or quays, which are favourite 
hiding-places, and from which an eel's head may often be seen 
projecting. As soon as you have landed an eel, kill him at 
once, or your line will be in an inextricable tangle ; or if you 
wish to keep him alive, cut off the hook close to his mouth, 
and get him into the basket as quick as possible. 

Lastly, remember always to dry all lines thoroughly, and 
grease the hooks and swivels before putting them away ; sea- 
v ater being much more destructive to tackle than fresh-wata 



Among the most delightful of those haunts to which Londoners resort 
for health or pleasure, the great tract of woodland, hill, and glade, which 
lies beyond the great metropolis in the east, is eminent for its varied 
aspects, its wild sylvan scenery, and its pure air. The Corporation of 
the City of London having prevented further encroachments and secured 
the great expanse of the Forest as a recreation-ground for the public, 
new roads and approaches have been and are still being made to the most 
romantic portions of this great domain. The district of Chingford is 
acknowledged to be the most characteristic and beautiful locality, and as 
it is also full of historical associations — the old hunting-lodge of Queen 
Elizabeth being near the remains of the ancient British camp at Ambres- 
bury, and at no great distance from the relics of the Roman camp of 
Suetonius — visitors are attracted to a spot where the most extended and 
best contrasted views of the whole country are connected with the annals 
of successive historical periods. 

It is at Chingford that a picturesque hotel has recently been erected 
and appropriately called 

'he -Forest Wotel. 

It is built in the Elizabethan style, and immediately adjoins Queen 
Elizabeth's Lodge, while it is so near Chingford Station that it can be 
seen surmounting the adjacent gentle ascent from the railway. As trains 
run to Chingford at frequent intervals from the station at Liverpool 
Street, City, and the journey occupies only about half an hour, the Forest 
Hotel may be said to be accessible from every part of London, and it has 
been designed to meet the requirements of all visitors. There is a spacious 
tea and coffee room, in which plain or varied teas are served from a 
shilling each ; an excellent table-d'hote luncheon at separate tables, 
consisting of soups and a capital cold collation, for half-a-crown ; and 
from four o'clock to eight, admirable table-d'h&te dinners, consistiog 
of soups, fish, entrees, joints, sweets, cheese, and dessert, for four shillings. 
A large and commodious buffet, with its own entrance, provides for the 
wants of customers who make only a short call ; and on the first-floor 
there is a magnificent banquetting-hall, which will accommodate from 80 to 
100 guests, and is eminently adapted for large parties, masonic banquets, 
Club dinners, and civic and other celebrations ; beyond this, occupying 
both sides of a corridor, are a series of charmingly-appointed private 
rooms, furnished in various piquant and artistic styles ; and the storey 
above contains several comfortable and excellently arranged bedrooms. 

In the grounds, which are very delightfully planned so as to merge 
into the wilder scenery of the forest, is a lofty and noble pavilion for 
large assemblies, well capable of accommodating 600 persons at a time, 
and specially adapted for large trade dinners, public meetings, and school 
treats. Among all the rural resorts of London there are none more 
attractive than 


as it is easily accessible either by road or rail. 







In the Grand Salon, the Princes' Salon, and the Duke's 
Salon, from 6 to 8.30. 

Two Soups, 

Two lands of Fish, 
Two Entrees. 



Sweets, Cheese in variety, 

Salad, etc. 

With Ices and Dessert. 

% Bskctium of JHjglj-dass J itstntmmial gtwsk 




" The Piscatorial Society dinner was elegantly served up in the usual effective 
style of the Holboen Restaubant, and elicited high commendation." — Court 

" The Dinner was of the most satisfactory and recherche character, for which 
the management received great praise." — Richmond and Twickenham Times. 

" There was evidently a desire on the part of the proprietor of the Hoieoen 
Restatjeant to give the Piscatorials a dinner befitting so important an occa- 
sion." — Fishing Gazette. 

" The Dinner was perfect, well served, and beautifully done. There were 119 
present." — James Landeb, Esq., Bail. See., Piscatorial Society. 

"About 80 sat down to an admirably served Dinner in the Princes' Salon."— 
The Citizen. 

" The Holeoen Eesiatteakt is an institution to be visited, not described."— 
West London Express. 

"' It is a dreamy and seductive Dinner, served at separate tables." — Daily 

' The HoiBOEic Eestaueant has now permanently established itself as one of 
the sights and one of the comforts of London." — Irish Times. 

" One of the institutions of London deserving the patronage of all epicureans." 
^-The Era. 

"None has a higher reputation than the Hoibobn Restaueant, which com- 
bines the cuisine of the first Parisian Establishment with the best of English 
fare." — Sporting Gazette. 

' ' The Holboen Rbstaubant takes first rank, not only because of the elegance 
of all its appointments, the brilliancy of the Salons, with their numberless 
mirrors and lustres, fountains and flowers, but because of the fact that the 
cuisine is excellent, and the wines are of superior quality." — The American Begj&ter. 

218. HIGH HOLBORN. 218. 

" A better specimen of what a guide-book should be we have not seen for 
many a day." — Land and Water, May 24th, 1873. 





The NEW ILLUSTRATED MAP AND GUIDE to the River Thames, from 
Thames Head to London. (The only correct Chart of the Eiver.) 

The Map compiled from ENTIRELY NEW SURVEYS, finished during the 
summer of 1877, is on a scale of two inches to a mile, and exhibits the true course 
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position, the Locks, Weirs, Islands, and Towing Paths being plainly marked, 
showing the track thoroughly clear to every one traversing the stream, the 
survey distances being indicated at every half-mile. 

Combined with the Map is a Complete Guide, 
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the history of each place, the names of the various Hotels, Inns, Boat Builders, 
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The Illustrations consist of a beautiful series of 


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invite attention to the objects of interest en route. 
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Watches specially made for all kinds of rough work in Yachting. 
Sea, and River-Fishing, etc. 

Prices 40s., 50s., 60s., 70s., 80s., 90s. 

Any quality post free on receipt of remittance, and, exe, 
if not approved. 


The "Universal" Watch-key and Compass. 





Post free for remittance. 




Three minutes — north — from the Bank of England. 



And every Stable Kequisite of 


For Home use, for the United States, for the Continent 
of Europe, and the Colonies. 

Gentlemen, before buying other saddles, should see 


The most Elegant and Durable Saddle ever made. 






112, CHE A PS WE, E.C, and 23, PALL MALL, S. W. 

Manufactory— 87, SOUTHWAKK STREET. 

Largest Stores of Havana Cigars in London. 






Illustrated Price Lists gratis and post free. 


TRADE ^RMW, >, > 3 5 o X? ? ,7.Vl ? .^TWBBHk M AEK, 











Clocks warranted to go eight days in any 


Prices— 12s. 6d., 15s., 31s., 25s., 30s. 





The Well-known Fine Old KING UEGALIAS 21s. per box of 100. 

LA MATANZAS ... 19s. per box of 100. 

HENRY CLAYS ... ... 28s. per box of 100. 

LA ESPANOLAS ... ... ... ... 28s. per box of 100. 



SPECIALITY.— The 'JOHN BULL" is manufactured from pure- 
Virginia, and of the lighter leaves; it is cool to the palate, 
full of aroma, without any pungency, thus meeting a great 
requirement. In packets only, price 9d. the 2 ozs. ; none 
are- genuine unless bearing the following Trade Mark : — 


Rait's Colouring Mixture for Meerschaum Pipes,' 
in 2 oz. Packets only, price lid. 


L. M7 BAIT, Proprietor. 

Post Office Orders made payable "Lothbury, E.C.' : 




A very large collection of Angling and Sporting Books. All the various 
editions of Walton and Cotton's Angler. Works on Fly-Fishing, Fly- 
Making, and many other valuable books on the above subjects. 

Silver Medal Royal Aquarium, 1877. Silver Medal 
Agricultural Hall, 1880. 


Naturalist aitir ffrnmbit of Hirbs mxh 



Near St. Luke's Church, Old Street. 


Mutual Life Assurance Association. 


Chief Office, 27 (late 15), MOORGATE STREET, LONDON. 

The whole of the Profits are divided among the Members every five years. The 
Association is not confined to Clerks, but includes among its Members every 
class of society. Wm. THOS. LINFORD, F.I.A., Actuary and Secretary. 

May, 1880. 

Prospectuses and every information on application at the Chief Office, 27, 
MooBaATB Street, London , E.C., or of the Agents. 



General Gtiarantee Association, Limited. 

Subscribed Capital, £100,000. Called-up and Paid, £50,000. 

Prospectuses, Forms of Proposal, etc., may be obtained of the Agents, or at 
the Head Office, 61, COLEMAN STREET, LONDON. 
W. T. LINFORD, F.I.A., Secretary. 


General Accident Insurance Company, Limited. 

Subscribed Capital, £50,000. 

To Assurers with the Provident Clerks' Mutual Life Association and the 
Provident Clerks' and General Guarantee Association, Accident Policies 
are issued at reduced rates. W. T. LINFORD, F.I. A., Secretary. 








Hundreds of Foreign Birds and Reptiles. 



Admission — ONE SHILLING. 



(12 Years with the late MR. JOHN COOPER,) 














gfmmfotitm at J^praa, £mx fe*» f *tr. 

All kinds of River-Fish and Water-plants suitable for 
stocking Aquaria, Lakes, etc. 










From 50s. 


Cailor antr (Bnti'iittx,